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US stocks hit new record highs

Posted at 3:43 PM, Apr 23, 2019

US stocks climbed past their all-time highs on Tuesday, as stocks continued to rally from their December lows.

The S&P 500 reached 2933.68 points, breaking through the historical closing high of 2,930.75 points that it set in September. The Nasdaq nearly hit 8121 points, beating the 8,110 point all-time best close it hit in August. Neither index managed to tackle their respective record intraday highs of 2,940 and 8,133, but market watchers typically measure all-time highs on closing prices.

Stocks were driven higher Tuesday by stronger shares in the consumer goods, heath care and technology sectors. Hasbro, Twitter and Quest Diagnostics were among the best performers of the day.

The trading day painted a story of strong US consumers, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

But it was touch-and-go in the market to close out last year.

Over the past seven months or so, market watchers have gotten severe whiplash, said John Lynch, chief investment strategist at LPL Financial.

After all, they saw "a near-bear market in stocks' worst fourth quarter since the financial crisis, followed by a V-shaped recovery and the best first quarter for the S&P 500 since 1998," he said.

In late December, stocks faced some intense volatility and registered some of their worst one-day drops in history. The S&P and the Dow recorded their worst Christmas Eve trading days ever.

Since then, the S&P has been lifted some 25%, while the Nasdaq and the Dow have climbed more than 30% and 22%, respectively, according to Refinitiv.

That surely was a fast recovery. Perhaps too fast, Lynch cautioned. Many bigger market themes, such as the US-China trade spat or structural problems in Europe, remain against a backdrop of slowing economic activity. This could keep stocks from gaining significantly more in the short-term, said Lynch.