US stocks continue their run in record territory as economy outlook improves

U.S. stocks gained, pushing benchmark indexes further to all-time highs, as Apple Inc. rallied and the International Monetary Fund indicated it would raise its outlook for the economy.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.5% to 1,827.99 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 73.47 points, or 0.5%, to 16,294.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.1% to 4,148.90. About 5.5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, 9.8% below the three-month average.

After that the Fed has removed a key element of uncertainty from financial markets, many investors believe the coast is clear for further gains. The central banks move follows a congressional budget deal this month that also has reassured traders that fiscal policy, for now, is secured.

“One by one, were knocking over the bear cases, the reasons not to be in equities,” said Scott Migliori, a lead portfolio manager at Allianz Global Investors, which manages $436 billion.

Economic indicators in the U.S., are showing steady improvement as the global economy continues to mend the damage caused by the 2008 financial crisis.

A report showed the the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment in December climbed to 82.5 from 75.1 a month earlier.

In corporate news, Apple rose 3.8% to $570.09, the highest close since December 4, 2012. The company, ending six years of negotiations, struck a deal that will give both the U.S. phone maker and China Mobile a means to fight declining share in the market of 1.2 billion wireless subscribers.

China Mobile will sell the iPhone 5s and 5c models in its stores from January 17, the companies said in a statement that provided no financial terms. Apple’s stores in the country will also offer the phones for China Mobile’s network.

T-Mobile advanced 2.8% to $31.86. SoftBank’s Son has discussed financing a bid with banks such as Credit Suisse Group AG, Mizuho Bank Ltd. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., people familiar with the matter said.

Micron Technology slid 3.1% to $21.49. An analyst at Bank of America Corp. downgraded the memory chipmaker to underperform from neutral, citing increasing competition.

Shares of Supernus Pharmaceuticals jumped 20% after hours Monday after a drug on which the firm collaborated received Food and Drug Administration approval.

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