US Stocks Reach Another Milestone as S&P 500 Vaults Past 2500

US Stocks Reach Another Milestone as S&P 500 Vaults Past 2500

US stocks are falling Thursday morning after finishing at record highs the last two days.

The Dow added 0.2% to end at 22,203 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.11% to 2,496.

The S & P 500 ended the week 1.6% higher and the Dow Industrials up by 2.2%, for a one-year gain in the latter of 26%. USA retail sales unexpectedly fell in August (, dropping 0.2% in their second decline of the past three months.

On the data front, USA retail sales declined unexpectedly in August and were revised lower for July, raising question marks about the consumer-led recovery.

Stocks in the United Kingdom slumped to a four-month low and the pound rose to its highest level since mid-2016, after Bank of England officials confirmed they are close to raising interest rates for the first time in a decade. The iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) rose 1.8% in its fifth straight daily advance, marking its biggest weekly gain since July. The biggest gains came Monday, after Hurricane Irma inflicted less damage than forecast in Florida following Harvey's devastating sweep through Texas. Additionally, North Korea threatened to reduce the "ashes and darkness" and sink Japan, leaving the Nikkei in the red. The stock rose 0.6 percent a day ago.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares lost 0.46 percent to close at a preliminary 1,494.61.

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The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index powered past 2,500 for the first time, notching its third round-number milestone of the year as the bull market in US equities rages on. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22 points, or 0.4%, to 6,451, hitting a intraday record at 6,464.27.

Railroad and trucking stocks also moved notably higher over the course of the session, while some weakness was visible among software stocks. Many companies on the British FTSE 100 are multinationals whose overseas earnings are diminished in value when the pound appreciates against other currencies.

The consumer discretionary index.SPLRCD fell 0.54 percent, pulled down by a 0.74-percent decline in AMZN.O and a 0.93-percent dip in Walt Disney DIS.N. The "control group", which excludes volatile items like gasoline stations sales, food, auto and building material sales fell 0.2% MoM versus predictions of a 0.2% gain.

The pound surged to $1.3571 from $1.3398, its highest since mid-2016.

Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $1.66 a gallon. The Kospi in South Korea gained 0.7 percent. Both were among the biggest percentage gainers on the S&P 500. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1967 compared to yesterday's $1.1919. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.1 percent.