U.S. stocks hit record highs on easing central bank outlook, oil rise

Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:25pm EDT
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By Dion Rabouin

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks closed at record highs on Monday, boosted by expectations for continued monetary policy easing around the globe and a jump in oil prices to nearly five-week highs on speculation top producers may be open to cutting output.

The U.S. S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq stock indexes all closed at all-time highs.

A strong monthly jobs report on Aug. 5 boosted optimism about the U.S. economy, driving all three major indexes to close at record levels last Thursday for the first time since 1999.

The S&P 500 index .SPX has notched 13 record intraday highs since July, including Monday's.

"Our sense is that we're still in this Goldilocks period where it's a sweet spot for equities and that will not change probably until the next rate hike," said Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 59.58 points, or 0.32 percent, to 18,636.05, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 6.1 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,190.15 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 29.12 points, or 0.56 percent, to 5,262.02.

The Federal Reserve will release on Wednesday minutes of its July meeting that could provide clues to the U.S. central bank's plans on interest rates and its view on the health of the economy.

The expected easing posture of central banks globally suggested to investors that the Fed may be slower to raise the nation's short-term rates and that could be reflected in the minutes, analysts said.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson