All three major U.S. stock indexes reach highs

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All three major U.S. stock indexes reach highs

All three U.S. stock benchmarks rose together to record highs for the first time in 16 years amid surprising earnings. European shares erased the slump that followed Britain’s secession vote. Oil climbed, while treasuries slumped.

The S&P 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite Index advanced amid better-than-forecast profits at retailers Macy’s and Kohl’s. Europe’s stocks closed at the highest since May. Oil climbed on speculation producers could agree on moves to support prices during talks in September. Treasuries fell as an auction of 30-year bonds saw a retreat from the level of investor interest at previous sales this week. Mexico’s peso led gains among major currencies as the central bank kept its interest rates unchanged.

Investors have piled into global equities amid better-than-estimated corporate earnings, improving economic data and optimism central banks will stay supportive of growth. The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits was little changed last week, holding near four-decade lows that highlight a more robust labor market. Still, that stronger jobs picture has yet to convince traders that the world’s largest economy is solid enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.

“We’re continuing to grind higher,” said Stephen Carl, principal and head equity trader at Williams Capital Group in New York. “You had some retail earnings that came in better than expected. Economic numbers such as jobless claims didn’t do anything to challenge the strength.”

The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to 2,185.79 at 4 p.m. in New York, extending this year’s advance to 6.9 percent. The Dow Average and Nasdaq added more than 0.4 percent. The three indexes rose simultaneously to records for the first time since Dec. 31, 1999.

Fresh records in U.S. stocks are getting harder for strategists to ignore. Wells Fargo became just the second of 21 firms tracked by Bloomberg to raise its target for the S&P 500 since the measure surged past the group’s average year-end prediction a month ago. Gina Martin-Adams, the bank’s chief U.S. equity strategist, now expects the benchmark for American equities to climb to 2,200 in 12 months.

Benchmark 10-year note yields rose five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 1.56 percent, Bloomberg Bond Trader data show.

Bloomberg’s dollar index, a gauge of the greenback versus 10 major peers, rose 0.1 percent. The yen was little changed Friday. Financial markets in Japan were shut for a holiday on Thursday. Bloomberg

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