US stocks jump to records as tech, small com­pa­nies lead way

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - NEWS - By Stan Choe and Damian J. Troise

NEW YORK >> A flurry of buy­out deals and ris­ing op­ti­mism about U.S.-China trade talks sent stocks back to record heights Mon­day, the lat­est bit of fuel for a mar­ket that’s been climb­ing since early last month.

Tech­nol­ogy stocks and smaller com­pa­nies led the way af­ter China is­sued new guidelines for the pro­tec­tion of patents and copy­rights. Theft of such in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty has been a big stick­ing point in the trade war be­tween the world’s largest economies, and mar­kets saw China’s move as an en­cour­ag­ing sign for ne­go­ti­a­tions on the first phase of a deal.

Not only did stocks rise world­wide, the price of gold fell as in­vestors saw less need for safety. A mea­sure of fear in the U.S. stock mar­ket called the VIX volatil­ity in­dex also touched its low­est level since July.

The S&P 500 rose 23.35 points, or 0.8%, to 3,133.64. The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age climbed 190.85, or 0.7%, to 28,066.47, and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite jumped 112.60, or 1.3%, to 8,632.49. All three in­dexes set records.

The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of small-cap stocks rose even more, though it is still be­low its peak set last year. It surged 32.96, or 2.1%, to 1,621.90.

Stocks have been ral­ly­ing for weeks as wor­ries about a pos­si­ble U.S. re­ces­sion have faded. A re­silient job mar­ket, which helps house­holds con­tinue to spend, and three in­ter­est-rate cuts by the Fed­eral Re­serve have bol­stered con­fi­dence.

Op­ti­mism has not been as high for other economies around the world, though, where growth re­mains slow, said David Kelly, chief global strate­gist at JPMor­gan As­set Man­age­ment.

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