Global Stocks Continue To Rise, U.S. Indexes Hit Records Again

NEW YORK (AP) -

Stocks around the world continued their march higher on Monday, and U.S. indexes again hit new highs.

Strong gains for Citigroup and other financial stocks helped the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rise 12.15 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,328.25. It’s the third straight day the index has set a record. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 142.79, or 0.7 percent, to 20,412.16. The Nasdaq composite climbed 29.83, or 0.5 percent, to 5,763.96. Earlier in the day, markets rose across Europe and Asia.

Stocks have resumed their rally in recent days after stalling for a couple weeks. Stronger-than-expected profit reports from companies, continued improvement in the U.S. economy and expectations for business-friendly policies from Washington have helped propel the market.

Companies whose profits are most dependent on the strength of the economy were some of Monday’s biggest gainers. Financial stocks in the S&P 500 rose 1.1 percent, the biggest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index. Industrials rose 1 percent.

The biggest stock in the S&P 500, Apple, is also at a record closing high. It rose $1.17, or 0.9 percent, to close at $133.29. The iPhone maker’s performance carries extra weight for many 401(k) accounts because of its status as the biggest publicly traded company in the world. It alone accounts for about 3.5 percent of S&P 500 index fund investments.

The only sector in the S&P 500 to fall on Monday was telecoms, which sank on worries that more pricing wars may be on the way.

Verizon unveiled an unlimited-data plan for its customers, and its stock dropped 43 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $48.55. Competitors fell more. AT&T slid 73 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $40.65, and Sprint fell 12 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $8.84.

Several events are on the schedule that could shift the market’s momentum. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will offer testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday and Wednesday to update the Senate and House on monetary policy. Most investors expect the central bank to keep raising interest rates in 2017, though at a modest pace.

Treasury yields have been on an upward trend since Election Day, in part because of those expectations for higher inflation. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.43 percent Monday from 2.41 percent late Friday. Two-year and 30-year Treasury yields also notched higher.

Stocks climbed in other markets around the world. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.4 percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.2 percent. In Europe, the French CAC 40 index jumped 1.2 percent, Germany’s DAX climbed 0.9 percent and the U.K. FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 93 cents, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $52.93 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell $1.11, or 2.percent, to $55.59 a barrel.

Natural gas fell 9 cents, or 3 percent, to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $1.54 a gallon and heating oil decreased 4 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $1.63 a gallon.

In metals trading, gold fell $10.10 to settle at $1,225.80 an ounce. Silver slid 11 cents to $17.82 an ounce. Copper rose 1.5 cents to $2.78 a pound.

The dollar rose to 113.62 Japanese yen from 113.41 yen late Friday, and the British pound rose to $1.2529 from $1.2479.