New record close for S&P

<p>The S&P hit a new record close in trading yesterday.</p>

A strong period of growth for US stock markets continued yesterday (August 21st) as the S&P closed at a new record high.

The previous record high for the index had been set on July 24th, but the index finished the session above its record close of 1,987.98. During the session the S&P also hit a new intra-day high, breaking another record that had been set on July 24th, reports Reuters.

Investors are still positive that the market has further room to grow and some leading commentators have speculated that it will not be too long before the S&P breaks through the 2,000 barrier for the first time.

US markets are currently keeping an eye on a policymakers' meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen due to make a speech later today.

"The real question will be, with the bullish economic data, will Yellen's comment in Jackson Hole remain as dovish as the market hopes it will be?" said Lawrence Glazer, managing partner at Mayflower Advisors in Boston.

Ms Yellen was US president Barack Obama's first choice to take over the stewardship of the Fed, taking over from predecessor Ben Bernanke.

Jeff Duncan, president of Duncan Financial Management in Sunset Hills, Missouri, pointed out that trading volume has been light on the major US stock markets in the last few weeks, so it has not been taking a lot of positive activity to push indexes higher.

He said: "We're seeing a few people jump into the market right now because things look A-OK right now. But it's a slow period … before Labor Day, and so it isn't taking much to move the market up."

The S&P 500 only needed to add 5.86 points – or 0.29 per cent – in order to break its record high as the index ended the session at 1,992.37. There were also gains for the Dow Jones, which was up by 60.36 points to 17,039.49, a rise of 0.36 per cent, while the Nasdaq added 5.62 points – recording an increase of 0.12 per cent – to finish the session at 4,532.10.

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