Stocks closed with modest gains on Wall Street, leaving the S&P 500 just shy of its record high. The benchmark index climbed 0.3% Monday, leaving it just four points below its record high close of 3,386.15. That record was set on Feb. 19, before the coronavirus pandemic shut down businesses worldwide and created the worst recession in decades, the AP reports. Earlier in the day, it traded just above that level, only to fade away in the afternoon. It did the same thing last Wednesday and Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 9.14 points to 3,381.99. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 86.11, or 0.3%, to 27,844.91. The Nasdaq composite rose 110.42, or 1%, to 11,129.73.
"It seems like a nothing day until you realize we’re sitting right on an all-time high for the S&P 500," said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide. The S&P 500 is adding a bit more to its three-week rally, even though investors are still waiting for Congress to offer more aid to the economy. Investors say it’s crucial that the support comes, particularly after $600 in weekly unemployment benefits and other stimulus from the US government expired. Markets seem to be banking on Democrats and Republicans coming to a deal, even though both sides say they remain far apart. Without the lifeline, analysts say the economy won’t be able to make the recovery that investors have been assuming is on the way. And that assumption is a huge reason the stock market is as high as it is.
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