US S&P 500 at fresh record: Dow snaps winning streak

The S&P 500 has edged up to a fresh record, while the Dow ended a seven-day winning streak as equity markets largely shrugged off new political instability in Greece.

The broad-based on Monday S&P 500 gained 1.80 points (0.09 per cent) at 2,090.57, marking its second record close in a row.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 15.48 (0.09 per cent) to 18,038.23, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was essentially flat, gaining a scant 0.05 point at 4,806.91.

Stock markets in Britain, France and Germany rallied into positive territory after initially falling on news that Greece was headed for snap polls after the parliament failed to elect a leader for the third time, raising uncertainty about the country’s economic reforms under an international rescue program.

“We saw some potential negatives for markets coming from Greece, but it seems mostly isolated to Greece and Europe specifically,” said David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management.

“There is little news coming to the market in a thinly traded market.”

General Motors jumped 2.6 per cent after forecast the US car giant’s sales jumped 10 per cent in December compared with a year ago, part of a strong industry-wide showing caused in part by low petrol prices.

Ford Motor gained 0.5 per cent. projected Ford’s sales rose 3.8 per cent.

Manitowoc, which operates cranes and foodservice equipment businesses, jumped 8.9 per cent after activist Carl Icahn took about an eight per cent stake in the company and said he would push to break it in two.

Biotech company Gilead Sciences gained 3.7 per cent as it announced an agreement with Janssen to develop and commercialise a new regimen for HIV treatment. Gilead will initiate clinical studies in the European Union in the coming months.

Walgreens advanced 0.4 per cent after shareholders approved its $US16 billion ($A17.31 billion) takeover of European rival Alliance Boots to create a global leader in the drugstore business.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.21 per cent from 2.25 per cent Friday, while the 30-year dropped to 2.78 per cent from 2.81 per cent. Bond yields and prices move inversely.

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