U.S. stocks edged higher on Tuesday to lift the S&P 500 just a hair above the 2,000 mark, its first close above that milestone, after data that pointed to a brighter future for the economy.
Energy shares, which closely track the pace of growth, led the day’s gain. The S&P energy index rose 0.5 percent and ranked as the best performer of the 10 major S&P sectors.
The S&P 500 hit an intraday high of 2,005.04, climbing above the 2,000 mark for the second straight day. On Monday, though, the benchmark could not hold on to that mark and ended at 1,997.92. With Tuesday’s move, both the Dow and the S&P 500 have risen in 10 of the past 13 sessions, while the Nasdaq is up for 11 of the past 13 sessions.
However, much of the market’s recent gains have come on low volume, suggesting that many traders may be reluctant to jump in at current levels.
“We will have to wait and see. Volume this week is very light; we have a lot of people still on vacation. But economically and fundamentally, it is a good picture,” said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Phoenix.
U.S. consumer confidence rose more than expected in August, climbing to its highest since October 2007, according to the Conference Board, an industry group. The Commerce Department reported that U.S. durable goods orders jumped 22.6 percent in July, the biggest gain on record, though the number was skewed by strong international demand for aircraft.