U.S. Equities Approach Highs on Fed Rate Signs

U.S. stocks are closing in on record highs, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounding at the fastest pace since February, as concerns over global crises give way to optimism that central banks will continue to accommodate a recovering economy.

More than $710 billion has been restored to American equities in the past month and the S&P 500 is within 0.3 percent of an all-time high amid bets that the Federal Reserve will leave interest rates near zero for longer even as economic growth shows signs of accelerating. The U.S. equity benchmark added 0.5 percent to 1,981.60 at 4 p.m. in New York today.

Stocks rallied today as retailers led gains on better-than-projected earnings while data showed inflation pressures remain limited and housing starts jumped. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.4 percent, its fifth straight day of increases, to the highest level since 2000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80.85 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,919.59, still 219 points from its record. Apple (AAPL) Inc. jumped 1.4 percent to close at an all-time high.


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