US STOCKS-S&P 500 tops 2,000; analysts see more gains ahead

Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:36pm EDT
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* Biotechs lead S&P above milestone 2,000

* Hope for European stimulus lifts financials

* Data on service sector, housing market below forecasts

* Indexes up: Dow 0.7 pct, S&P 0.7 pct, Nasdaq 0.6 pct (Updates to midday trading, adds context on S&P record)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 vaulted above 2,000 for the first time on Monday, with financials and biotechnology stocks lifting the benchmark index to a new record as investors bet on equities as a preferred asset over bonds.

The significance of the milestone was more psychological than fundamental, and it represents the cumulation of a six-year rally that has boosted retirement accounts for Americans from Wall Street to Main Street, though the gains have largely benefited wealthier Americans. On a total-return basis the S&P 500 has more than tripled from its 2009 low hit during the financial crisis.

The day's gains were broad, with all 10 of the S&P 500's primary sectors advancing. About two-thirds of stocks on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq were in positive territory.

"The trend continues to be positive and it's like fighting a tsunami, it keeps going and going and going and it won't stop," said Adam Hewison, president and chief executive at in Annapolis, Maryland.   Continued...