The S&P 500 set an intraday record high on Monday, bolstering the view that the decade-long bull market has further to run, after consumer spending rose in March and inflation data was benign. The benchmark index topped its intraday record of 2,940.91 hit on 21 September, rising to a session high of 2,949.52. The S&P 500 is now up more than 17 per cent for the year to date. The index along with the Nasdaq posted another record close as well on Monday.

Hopes of a resolution of the US-China trade war, upbeat earnings and a dovish Federal Reserve have powered the rally in stocks this year, and even though the Monday’s gains were small, strategists said recent new highs encourage further buying. A Commerce Department report showed US consumer spending increased by the most in more than 9-?? years in March, but a key inflation measure posted its smallest annual gain in 14 months. Tame inflation supports the Fed’s recent decision to suspend further interest rate rises this year.

As trade talks enter their last leg, US negotiators head to China on Tuesday to try to hammer out details to end the protracted tariff spat between the two countries. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a television interview that aired on Monday, said he hopes that the latest talks between the US and China may seal a trade deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11.06 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 26,554.39, the S&P 500 gained 3.15 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 2943.03 and the Nasdaq Composite added 15.46 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 8161.85.

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