The two most closely watched U.S. stock market indexes set intraday record highs Tuesday on a strong economic report from Germany, an interest rate cut in Australia and surging Japanese and European stocks.
In midday trading, the widely followed blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average, which tracks the 30 largest U.S. industrial corporations, climbed 0.3 percent to 15,017.93. The broad-based S&P 500 increased 0.4 percent to 1,623.10, breaking an intraday record set 24 hours earlier. By early afternoon some of those gains had been slightly pared.
The session's gains were led by energy, industrial and telecommunications shares.
In Germany, the benchmark DAX closed at 8,181.78, a new high, in response to France’s declaration that it was finished with fiscal austerity and the European Central Bank cut a key interest rate. Markets also got a boost from a strong April jobs report in the U.S. on Friday.
Australia’s central bank unexpectedly cut its main interest rate to a record low of 2.75 percent, which helped send Japanese stocks to a five-year high.
U.S. equities have been on a tear lately. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 142.38, or nearly 1 percent, to close at 14,973.96, up from its previous closing high of 14,865.15 set on April 11 of this year. The S&P 500 rose 16.83, or slightly more than 1 percent, to close at 1,614.42, up from its previous closing high of 1,597.59 set on May 2. The Nasdaq Composite gained 38.01, or 1.14 percent, to end the session at 3,378.63, far less than the 5,048.62 set on May 10, 2000.
Since June 4, 2012, the S&P 500 has climbed nearly 30 percent. Since Nov. 15, 2012, the index has climbed 21 percent.