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16 Mar 2021 | 08:33

US close: Dow Jones and S&P 500 close at new record highs

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks closed higher on Monday, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closing at record highs yet again thanks to heightened optimism over the US' economic reopening. At the close, the Dow Jones was up 0.53% at 32,953.46, while the S&P 500 was 0.65% firmer at 3,968.94 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 1.05% stronger at 13,459.71.

The Dow closed 174.82 points higher on Monday after the US 10-year Treasury hit its highest level since February 2020 on Friday, reaching 1.642%. While yields still remained elevated on Monday, they had come off the aforementioned high after the open on Monday, trading down at around 1.61%.

Boosting sentiment Monday was news that the Internal Revenue Service had begun processing $1,400 direct payments to Americans over the weekend.

Also in focus, air travel in the US hit its highest level in more than twelve months over the weekend amid the US' Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, helping stocks most likely to benefit from a swift economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic lead gains at the open, with American Airlines and United Airlines both up more than 8%.

On the macro front, manufacturing activity in the New York jurisdiction improved more than expected in March, according to a survey released on Monday. The New York Fed's Empire State index rose to 17.4 from 12.1 in February, beating expectations for a reading of 14.5 and hitting its highest level since last summer. This was also the ninth consecutive positive reading.

Market participants were also patiently awaiting a decision on interest rates from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, with the bond market likely to take cues from the central bank in the week to come.

No major corporate earnings were released on Monday.
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