U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday as investors cheered an election in Japan and extended a jobs-report rally.
The benchmark S&P 500 index closed at a new all-time high and also posted a new all-time intraday high of 2,143.16. At the close, information technology led the S&P, with health care and utilities lagging.
"What we've seen in the leadership is what you want to see, ... and what you see lagging is what you want to see," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
"I've been expecting a record close for a while," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab. "It's a good thing because it cements this 7-year-old market, which is the second longest in history."
The Nasdaq composite ended up more than half a percent, and posted its best close of the year. The index also broke above the 5,000 mark for the first time since Dec. 31.
"I think what we're seeing is the successful election for [Shinzo] Abe ... is fueling the rally here," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. "Basically, it's a post-labor report rally helped by the elections in Japan."
Abe's coalition notched a landslide victory for the upper house in Japan's parliament. Abe had cast the election as a referendum on his "Abenomics" recipe of hyper-easy monetary policy, spending and reform. With signs the strategy is failing, the government plans to compile a post-election stimulus package that could exceed 10 trillion yen ($99 billion).
Major US indexes 5-year chart (indexed)Source: FactSet
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the U.S. economy added 287,000 jobs, easily beating expectations.
The jobs-report beat boosted U.S. stocks Friday, leaving the S&P 500 within striking distance of its all-time intraday high.
"Friday was probably light [on] volume, so it's nice to see more gains with more volume," said Mariann Montagne, senior investment analyst at Gradient Investments.
This week, Wall Street will brace itself for an array of speeches from Federal Reserve officials.
"We get bombarded with Fed speak this week just as the fed funds futures market is saying the Fed won't definitively raise rates again until December 2018. The last Fed dots had the expected fed funds rate at 2.4% by the end of 2018 vs 3% seen in March. The disconnect and disbelief continues," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, said in a Monday note to clients.
Kansas City Fed President Esther George said the U.S. economy has proven to be "resilient," adding she expects to see "fairly steady pace of growth."