Wall Street hits record highs, dollar rises to 14-year peak

Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:52pm EST
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By Dion Rabouin

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. equities touched record highs on Tuesday and the dollar rose to its highest level in 14 years as markets shrugged off risk aversion and continued the rally that has elevated Wall Street since Election Day.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI and Nasdaq Composite .IXIC both closed at record highs, with the blue-chip index just below the 20,000 level. European stocks steadied as reassurance over Italy's plan to spend up to 20 billion euros ($21 billion) to rescue its troubled banks overtook uncertainty over Monday's attacks in Turkey and Germany.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 0.48 percent, with the German DAX .GDAXI, French CAC 40 .FCHI and British FTSE 100 .FTSE all adding gains.

"Investors have become so fast in digesting bad news, and this explains the resilience in financial markets," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

U.S. stocks have rallied since the Nov. 8 election, with the S&P 500 rising nearly 6 percent on bets that President-elect Donald Trump's plans will provide a boost to business.

"The market is focused on the Trump agenda, which is tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation," said Jeff Zipper, managing director for investments at Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Dow .DJI rose 91.56 points, or 0.46 percent, to 19,974.62, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 8.23 points, or 0.363752 percent, to 2,270.76 and the Nasdaq .IXIC added 26.50 points, or 0.49 percent, to 5,483.94.

Emerging market shares edged up .MSCIEF while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.3 percent.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 15, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RTX2V80B