All four major U.S. equity benchmarks climbed to record highs as oil jumped on optimism OPEC will agree to cut output. The yen rose as markets digested reports of a tsunami warning in the Fukushima region.
The S&P 500 Index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Russell 2000 Index rallied together to their all-time peaks for the first time since 1999. Oil surged as Iran signaled optimism that OPEC will agree to a supply-cut deal and Iraq said it will offer new proposals to help bolster unity before next week’s meeting in Vienna. The dollar halted its longest advance ever against the euro. The yen climbed after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Japan off the coast of Fukushima, home to the nuclear power plant badly damaged in a March 2011 quake, triggering a tsunami alert.
American stocks achieved the new milestone as companies ended a five-quarter profit slump and Donald Trump’s election fueled optimism that his plans to cut taxes and boost fiscal spending will benefit industries more geared toward economic growth. Acknowledging the strength in the economy, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday that the central bank is close to lifting interest rates.
“There’s optimism that it’s more likely that Trump is going to put us on an economic fast track versus Clinton,” said Terry Morris, manager director of equities at BB&T Institutional Investment Advisors in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. “The election had something to do with this, and I also think there’s some short covering going on. People that were hedging the election had to rush to cover after the news, and I think generally the perception is the economy is starting to pick up as the Fed is likely to raise rates in December.”