Dow Climbs Above 38000 to a Record; S&P 500 Reaches High

Gains in everything from technology heavyweights to Goldman Sachs shares pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average past 38000 for the first time.

The Dow industrials added 0.4% to 38001.81, a record. The S&P 500 added 0.2%, kicking off the week with another high, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.3%. 

Shares of small companies in the Russell 2000 outperformed on Monday, jumping around 2% and outpacing peers by a wide margin. 

Stocks got off to a rocky start this year before staging a sharp rebound that has pushed the S&P 500 to all-time high for the first time in around two years. Investors have been encouraged by the start of earnings season and signs that the economy remains strong. Excitement about artificial intelligence—which helped give the stock market a big boost last year—has continued, helping drive shares of tech darlings higher. 

Microsoft and other tech giants have helped power the Dow in recent weeks, driving the index above 38000 in trading Monday. Goldman shares, which jumped 1% on Monday, have been a big contributor to the index since its last milestone. 

After taking a bearish stance for much of last year, many investors have piled back into the market lately. Trading in call options that would profit if stocks kept rising jumped to one of the highest levels of the past year on Friday, when the S&P 500 reached a record. Such options confer the right to buy shares at a specific price, by a stated date. To some investors, it is a sign that people are piling in, looking to profit from the big gains. 

“We don’t want to miss the rally but we’re not that convinced,” said Zhiwei Ren, a portfolio manager at Penn Mutual Asset Management.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 4.093% Monday. 

This week, investors will keep parsing a wave of economic data and earnings, including the first reading of fourth-quarter gross domestic product as well as figures on inflation and spending. Companies including TeslaNetflix and Procter & Gamble report throughout the week.

Hopes for a Goldilocks economy, one that’s not too hot or too cold, have swept the market in recent months. Now, investors will be sifting through the data for signs of the economy’s strength, which will have far-reaching implications on how many interest-rate cuts Wall Street gets. 

Some strategists said they are more cautious about stocks after the big run-up.

“Despite all the enthusiasm we’ve seen in stocks right now, we’re inclined to go the other way,” said Calvin Tse, head of Americas macro strategy at BNP Paribas. 

Tse says he is more cautious about the economy than many other investors appear to be right now. 

The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF jumped around 1.8% to a record. Shares of buy now, pay later company Affirm jumped 5.2%.

American depositary receipts in major Chinese companies sold off, echoing the latest declines for markets in Hong Kong and mainland China. Internet stocks and PDD all dropped. 

The selling pressure weighed on the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index on Monday. The index had sunk more than 16% this year, pressured by intensifying investor concern about China’s economic health.

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