By ALEX VEIGA
It was a big round-number day for the stock market.
The Standard Poor’s 500 index closed a hair above 2,000 points Tuesday, 16 years after it closed above 1,000 points for the first time.
The milestone added to the market’s gains from the day before and extended the stock index’s record-shattering run this year.
The SP 500 index, a widely followed barometer of the stock market, has closed at a new high 30 times this year. By this time last year, it had done so 25 times. The index briefly rose past 2,000 on Monday, but closed just below that level. It still set a record-high close in the process.
“There’s perhaps a small psychological boost when you get over such a significant price level,” said Cameron Hinds, regional chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank.
U.S. stocks, in the midst of a five-year rally, have surged in the final weeks of the summer after dipping earlier this month on concerns about geopolitical tensions in Russia and the Middle East.
The latest string of shattered market benchmarks comes as investors cheered new indications that the economy is strengthening, setting the stage for stronger company earnings.
Major U.S. indexes began in positive territory in premarket trading Tuesday. That trend held as investors began to digest the latest economic reports.
The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose this month to the highest point in nearly seven years. A separate report showed that orders of durable manufactured goods surged by a record 22.6 percent in July, thanks to a jump in aircraft sales. A third report showed U.S. home prices rose in June, although at a slower pace.
Stocks opened slightly higher and remained in the green the rest of the day. The SP crossed above 2,000 points early on, and hovered at or above the mark as it approached the close of regular trading.
Moments before the close it dipped below 2,000, then inched up just above.
The SP 500 (^GPSC) rose 2.10 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 2,000.02. Seven of the 10 sectors in the SP 500 index gained, led by energy stocks. Utilities declined the most.
The major U.S. indexes are riding a three-week streak of weekly gains and are up for the year.
The string of record highs this year isn’t unusual when a market is recovering from a downturn, said Kate Warne, an investment strategist at Edward Jones.
In the past, once stocks have hit a new high after a downturn, they have continued higher for about two years, on average, she said. The first time the SP 500 hit a new high after the financial crisis was March 2013. So this year’s record run is still within the average range.
“Markets don’t climb sharply. They tend to climb slowly, and that’s probably good news for a continued climb in the future,” Warne said.
The Dow also has put up some big numbers this year, notching 15 new closing highs. That trails the 30 it racked up by this time a year ago.
While the market is setting records, many stock watchers believe equities remain fairly valued, though not cheap.
The SP 500 is trading around 16 times its forward-operating earnings, or over the next 12 months. The historical average on that measure is about 15 times.
“That says stocks are no longer cheap, but we also don’t think they’re expensive,” Warne said. “Historically, when the price-earnings ratio has been in that range, returns over the next year have been around 7 percent. That’s not bad.”
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.39 percent. U.S. crude for October delivery rose 51 cents to $93.86 a barrel. In metals trading, gold rose $6.30 to $1,285.20 an ounce, silver rose three cents to $19.39 an ounce and copper fell three cents to $3.19 a pound.
Among the stocks making big moves Tuesday:
- Amazon (AMZN) rose 2.3 percent after saying that it would buy video streaming company Twitch for $970 million. The stock climbed $7.81 to $341.83.
- Best Buy (BBY) fell $2.19, or 6.8 percent, to $29.80 after the electronics retailer reported that its fiscal second-quarter net income plunged 45 percent as sales weakened.
- Orbitz (OWW) fell 4.6 percent after American Airlines and US Airways disclosed they are pulling flight listings from the site because they have not been able to reach agreement on a long-term contract with the travel booking website operator. Orbitz shed 39 cents to $8.04.
What to Watch Wednesday:
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
- Tiffany (TIF)
- Williams-Sonoma (WSM)
- Donaldson Co. (DCI)
- Michaels (MIK)
- Chico’s FAS (CHS)
- Guess (GES)
- Brown Shoe Co. (BWS)
- Express (EXPR)
Summer is a typically a time of transitions. There are weddings, moves to new homes, possibly a new family addition and more. If summer is the time when these events take place, fall should be the time to take stock of how they’re panning out. If you’re recently married and haven’t already, now is the time to have the money talk with your spouse and make decisions about spending plans, merging (or not merging) accounts, beneficiary updates and more. If you’ve moved, check out how the new location has affected your cost of living spending in terms of activities, gas costs, groceries and more. Ultimately with any transition, you need to review your spending plan and determine what areas (if any) need to be adjusted.
5. Consider your transitions