S&P 500 and Dow close at record highs led by energy and tech

  • Energy and tech stocks rose 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
  • A rise in crude prices also gave energy a boost.
  • The major indexes shook off news of the explosion that took place in Times Square earlier on Monday.

U.S. equities closed higher, reversing earlier weakness following a terror incident near New York City's Times Square.

The Dow Jones industrial average notched a record close, rising 56.87 points to 24,386.03. The S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent to finish at 2,659.99, an all-time closing high. Energy and tech stocks were among the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500, rising 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

"For the first time in this recovery, energy stocks appear significantly undervalued. They currently trade at a 32% discount to fair value," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group, in a note. "Maybe it's time to lighten up on some of your popular 2017 winners and reallocate toward a sector deeply out of favor."

A rise in crude prices also gave energy a boost. U.S. crude futures jumped 1.1 percent to settle at $57.99 per barrel on Monday. Brent futures also rose, hitting a 2½-year high.

The Nasdaq composite gained 0.5 percent, closing at 6,875.08.

The major indexes shook off news of the explosion that took place in Times Square earlier on Monday. A low tech device exploded during rush hour Monday morning at New York's Port Authority, injuring four people, including the man carrying the device. "This was an attempted terrorist attack," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference at the scene.

Stock futures pared gains after initial reports of the explosion broke. S&P 500 futures briefly turned negative. Treasurys rose, pushing the yield on the 10-year note to 2.38 percent.

"People recognize that these one-offs aren't that important, but it does remind them that there are risks out there," said Maris Ogg, president of Tower Bridge Advisors.

Stocks were coming off a strong session, with the S&P 500 and Dow posting record closing highs after the release of strong employment data. The nonfarm payrolls data for November revealed Friday that the U.S. had added 228,000 jobs last month, beating expectations of 200,000.

Wall Street also looked ahead to the upcoming monetary policy meeting by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), to see if the central bank raises interest rates for the final time this year. The meeting starts Tuesday and the committee is scheduled to announce its decision on Wednesday.

"Markets are pricing in the near-certainty of a rate hike on Wednesday, continuing on the Fed's gradual tightening path," said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede. Pride also noted that "improving economies in the U.S. and elsewhere suggest that monetary policy normalization will happen globally."

In October, the Fed minutes revealed that a rate hike during this month was all but certain, despite the low inflation that weighs on market sentiment.

Investors also kept a close eye on any developments coming out of the Trump administration as lawmakers try to overhaul the U.S. tax system.

"I think the initial buying and selling [on the tax plan] is done," said Tom Stringfellow, chief investment officer at Frost Investment Advisors. "Now it's about waiting for details on what kind of tax package we get."

Overseas, European stocks fluctuated around the flat-line, while markets in Asia finished in the black.

In corporate news, shares of Cboe Global Markets traded higher following the launch of bitcoin futures on the Cboe Futures Exchange. Cboe shares closed 0.9 percent higher. Bitcoin futures — which began trading at the Cboe on Sunday — surged 20 percent to $18,670 per bitcoin.

Overstock.com shares, meanwhile, surged 22 percent after Morgan Stanley revealed a stake in the company. Overstock shares have been on fire recently after the company said it plans to launch a licensed digital coin trading platform.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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