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S&P 500 closes above 2,000 points for first time
Last Updated: 2014-08-27 07:12 | Xinhua
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U.S. stocks continued to move up Tuesday, with the S&P 500 closing above the round number of 2,000 points for the first time ever amid generally positive economic data.

Continuing Monday's bullish sentiment on Wall Street which had helped the benchmark index piercing the record 2,000 points, the S&P 500 set a fresh all-time high of 2,005.04 points in the morning session before ending at 2,000.02 points, up 2.10 points, or 0.11 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also logged a record intraday high of 17,153.80 points, eclipsing its previous intraday record of 17,151.56 points set on July 17. The blue-chip index advanced 29.83 points, or 0.17 percent, to finish at 17,106.70 points, still shy of its record close of 17,138.20 points which occurred on July 16.

Besides, the Nasdaq Composite Index added 13.29 points, or 0.29 percent, to 4,570.64, the highest since March 2000.

On the economic front, new orders for manufactured durable goods in July skyrocketed 22.6 percent, boosted by a 318-percent surge in orders for commercial aircraft, said the U.S. Commerce Department Tuesday. The increase was the biggest since 1992 and far exceeded analysts' expectations.

U.S. consumer confidence, which reached the highest level since October 2007 in July, improved further in August, the New York- based research group Conference Board said. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index climbed to 92.4 in August from 90.3 in July, beating market expectations.

U.S. home prices continued to rise in June but at a slower pace, according to a survey released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

Another report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed that U.S. house prices rose 0.8 percent in the second quarter, representing the 12th consecutive quarterly price rise in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted House Price Index.

On corporate news, Burger King on Tuesday confirmed that it plans to acquire Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons for about 11 billion U.S. dollars to create the world's third largest quick service restaurant company. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is reportedly helping finance the deal.

Jeremy Siegel, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, told CNBC Tuesday that he thinks the bull market still has room to run thanks to strong economic numbers and second quarter earnings. Siegel said the Dow is on track for 18,000 points by year end and he wouldn't be surprised if the index reached 19,000 points.

The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, slipped 0.60 percent to end at 11.63.

In other markets, the dollar continued rising against most major currencies Tuesday as U.S. durable goods orders and consumer confidence beat expectations.

In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.3172 dollars from 1.3193 dollars in the previous session, while the dollar bought 104.10 Japanese yen, higher than 103.99 yen of the previous session.

U.S. crude price advanced on better-than-expected economic data, while Brent price retreated as geopolitical tensions in Ukraine eased.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday held a bilateral meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, the first one since the latter took office in May.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery moved up 51 cents to settle at 93.86 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery lost 15 cents to close at 102.5 dollars a barrel.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange bounced up as the central banks of Russia and Kazakhstan continued to raise their official gold reserve in July.

The most active gold contract for December delivery rose 6.3 dollars, or 0.49 percent, to settle at 1,285.2 dollars per ounce.

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