NEW YORK (AP) - The S&P 500 index is four digits again. The widely used stock market measure broke above 1,000 today for the first time in nine months and the Nasdaq composite cleared 2000.
Investors were encouraged by reports on manufacturing, housing and banking that suggest the economy is gaining strength. The Dow industrials rose 115 points, the Nasdaq was up 30 and the S&P gained 15.
Stocks are extending July's powerful rally into a second month, on fresh signs of healing in the manufacturing and banking industries giving investors optimism. Gains in overseas markets have fed the recent momentum on Wall Street, giving the market its best July in 20 years.