US stocks continue strong week

<p>The S&P was close to a record intra-day high yesterday.</p>

The good week of trading enjoyed in the US continued yesterday (August 19th), with the S&P index close to hitting a new record intra-day high during the session.

It ended within just a handful of points of its all-time intraday high of 1,991.39, which was reached on July 24th, reports Reuters.

Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors in New York, explained that geopolitical concerns in Ukraine and Russia, as well as across the Middle East, are starting to dissipate and this is reducing the pressure on the major markets in the US.

He said: "We're finally starting to see that strength in the housing market that we were expecting to get in the second quarter."

Apple was among the most eye-catching performers in the US yesterday, with the technology giant breaking through the $100 (£60) barrier for the first time since the company went through a seven-for-one split in June.

The share price of the firm rose by 1.4 per cent and hit a new split-adjusted closing high of $100.53, with the impending release of the latest Apple smartphone, the iPhone 6, growing nearer. Data also showed Apple contributed the most of any other company's stocks to the gains of the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite over the course of Tuesday's trading session.

As well as the rise for the S&P, the Dow Jones industrial average increased by 80.85 points, a boost of close to 0.5 per cent, to end the day at 16,919.59. There was also a 0.43 per cent increase for the Nasdaq, which added 19.20 points to end at its best close since March 31th 2000 at 4,527.51.

BATS exchange data showed that during the course of Tuesday's trading session, some 4.5 billion shares traded on all of the main US platforms, which is down on the five-day average of 5.2 billion.

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