Wall Street hits record highs, S&P 500 pierces 2,500


US shares reached record highs on Fri­day, with the S&P 500 sur­pass­ing 2,500 points as telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions shares rose and tech­nol­ogy bounced back af­ter two days of de­clines.

The S&P 500’s breach of the 2,500mark came less than four months af­ter it closed above 2,400, and brought 2017’s gain to nearly 12%.

Pro­fes­sional in­vestors fre­quently say they see lit­tle spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance in the S&P 500 and Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age hit­ting round-num­bers in the hun­dreds and thou­sands. But such mile­stones do af­fect the sen­ti­ment of in­vestors on Main Street, said Phil Blan­cato, head of Laden­burg Thal­mann As­set Man­age­ment in New York.

“Peo­ple are con­cerned about miss­ing out as the mar­ket con­tin­ues to rally. They think maybe they need to fi­nally jump in,” Blan­cato said. “The be­hav­ior of the re­tail in­vestor is more im­por­tant than ever.”

The S&P 500 in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy sec­tor rose 0.30%, pow­ered by an Nvidia-led surge in chip­mak­ers, while Ap­ple rose 1.01% in its first gain since un­veil­ing new iPhones on Tues­day.

The semi­con­duc­tor in­dex surged 1.71%, boosted by Nvidia’s 6.32% jump to a record high af­ter Ever­core ISI raised its price tar­get on the stock.

AT&T rose 2.15% and Ver­i­zon Com­mu­ni­ca­tions added 1.44%. Along with T-Mo­bile, they are of­fer­ing deals for the new­est iPhones that are less gen­er­ous than in the past.

Wall Street largely shrugged off re­ports show­ing an un­ex­pected drop in US re­tail sales last month and the first drop in in­dus­trial out­put since Jan­uary, both in part due to the im­pact of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey.

“In­vestors are keep­ing an eye on the re­tail sales data, think­ing it may be tran­si­tory, and are fo­cus­ing on growth ar­eas such as tech­nol­ogy, which is mostly im­mune to pol­icy de­ci­sions in DC and has avoided all the global noise,” said Michael An­tonelli, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of in­sti­tu­tional sales trad­ing at Robert W. Baird in Mil­wau­kee.

US stocks have surged this year, de­spite tur­moil in the White House, doubts about Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s abil­ity to push through his pro-busi­ness re­forms, un­cer­tainty over the tim­ing of in­ter­est rate hikes, and lately, ten­sions over Py­ongyang’s mis­sile tests.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age rose 0.29% to end at 22,268.34 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.18% to 2,500.23, records for both.

The Nas­daq Com­pos­ite added 0.3% to 6,448.47.

Ear­lier, North Korea fired a sec­ond mis­sile in as many weeks over Ja­pan, draw­ing crit­i­cism from global lead­ers but barely mov­ing shares as in­vestors await the next cat­a­lyst – the Fed­eral Re­serve’s meet­ing on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day.

The S&P 500 is trad­ing near 17.6 times ex­pected earn­ings, down from 17.9 at the end of July but still much higher than its 10-year av­er­age of 14.3, ac­cord­ing to Thom­son Reuters Datas­tream.

Boe­ing rose 1.53% to a record high af­ter Canac­cord Ge­nu­ity raised its price tar­get for the stock.

Among the lag­gards was Or­a­cle, which sank 7.67%, its worst day in more than four years af­ter dis­ap­point­ing fore­casts for its profit and cloud busi­ness.

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