Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.(Photo: Spencer Platt, Getty)
NEW YORK -- Wall Street saw a modest lift in stock prices Monday, pushing the broad S&P 500 above its record close and extending the gains from Friday that were sparked by a stronger-than-expected reading on job growth.
At the close, the Standard & Poor's 500 index ended up 0.2%, at about 1808, topping its record closing high of 1,807.23 from Nov. 27. The Dow Jones industrial average rose fractionally and the Nasdaq composite advanced 0.15%.
Shares of Sysco leaped more than 9% to $37.62 on news that the Houston food company would acquire US Foods for about $3.5 billion.
The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are cruising above their recently attained milestones of 16,000, 1800 and 4000, respectively.
Stock investors had no economic data to consider, as no reports were slated for release Monday.
On Friday, a stronger-than-expected November jobs report upped the odds that the nation's central bank would start to dial back on its market-friendly bond-buying program sooner rather than later. However, the market held up well Friday, with the Dow posting its best gain since mid-October.
The stock market's bullish reaction to the strong jobs number suggests that investors are getting more comfortable with the idea of the Fed trimming back on its stimulus. The belief is that a stronger economy will offset some of the negative effects of less Fed stimulus.
"Good (economic) news is finally good news" (for the stock market), Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede, told clients in a research note Monday.
U.S. government bond yields were also behaving. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.85%, down from 2.88% on Friday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 2.3% to 15,650.21 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.3% at 23,811.17.
Data out of China showed that exports rose by 12.7% on a year-ago basis.
Benchmark crude for January delivery was up 5 cents at $97.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 27 cents to close at $97.65 on Friday.
The U.S. economy on Friday reported a fourth straight month of job gains, with 203,000 new jobs created in November. The unemployment rate fell to 7.0% from 7.3%.
On Wall Street Friday, the Dow added 1.3% to 16,020.20. The S&P 500 rose 1.1% to 1,805.09. The Nasdaq added 0.7% to 4,062.52.