(Bloomberg) – Shares of major life insurers and other U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbing to an all-time high, as health-care companies rallied and small-cap shares rebounded from yesterday’s declines.
The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent to 2,048.93 at 10:05 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 41.90 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,689.65. The Russell 2000 Index of small-cap shares added 0.9 percent. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 14 percent below the 30-day average.
Among life insurers, Ameriprise Financial edged up 1.33 points to $130.30 as of 11:00 am EST. Principal Financial Group Inc. hit 53.26, up 0.43 points. Prudential gained 0.80 points to $84.58. And Voya Financial’s shares reached $41.47, a rise of 0.63 points.
The S&P 500 has rallied to records as better-than-expected earnings and economic data have increased confidence that the U.S. economy is able to weather a global slowdown even as the Federal Reserve winds down its stimulus program.
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“People are happy the market is at all-time highs, but they are still nervous,” Michael James, a Los Angeles-based managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities Inc., said by phone. “Going into next year, will the market be able to maintain these gains and go higher given the cautiousness from Europe and Asia?”