US stocks continue to rally, the Dow and S&P 500 close at record highs

Wall street hit records highs on Monday. The Dow Jones gained 7.84 points (0.04 percent) to 17,817.90, while the S&P 500 rose by 5.91 (0.29 percent) to 2,069.4.

The Nasdaq was 41.9 points higher at 4,754.89.

The Dow experienced its third straight record close and the S&P 500 achieved its second straight record close.

Investor confidence appears to be up, despite the US business outlook slipping to a 5-year low, according to Markit Economics.

Retailers were among those to experience gains on expectations that consumers will increase spending ahead of the Christmas holiday, with Coach, Urban Outfitters and Gap all closing higher.

Apple shares soared by 1.9 percent following news that Susquehanna Financial Group increased its price target for the tech giant, fueled by strong demand for the company’s iPhone 6 devices.

Telecommunications stocks were down though after Citigroup published a review of the sector predicting a tough year in 2015. Verizon and AT&T both fell, by 1.4 and 1.6 percent respectively.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped by 73 cents, or 1 percent, to $75.78 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude fell 68 cents down to $79.68 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In Europe

The German DAX index gained 0.5% to 9785.54 and the French CAC 40 gained 0.5% to 4368.44.

The UK FTSE 100, however, closed lower, down 0.3% to 6729.79.

In Asia

The Japanese Nikkei 225 gained 0.3%, closing at 17,411.33.

The Chinese benchmark Hang Seng index fell by 0.2% to 23,841.16, while the Shanghai Composite was down by 0.1% to 2,529.60.

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