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S&P 500 Is Very Close to Putting March and April Behind It

Richard Richtmyer

A blast of buying in the last few minutes of Thursday’s trading session pushed the S&P 500 Index to within a hair’s breadth of 2,800.

The benchmark gauge rose to as high as 2,799.22, just missing the round-number milestone that has been a ceiling for past rallies in an on-again, off-again recovery since February’s market correction.

Stocks sold off Wednesday after the Trump administration’s announcement that an additional $200 billion of Chinese products may be hit with tariffs. They rebounded Thursday after officials in Beijing appeared to be toning down the rhetoric , holding off any immediate retaliation to the latest threats.

The S&P 500 has advanced 2.9 percent this month as traders await the start of the second-quarter earnings season, which kicks off in earnest on Friday with JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s report. Analysts are expecting to see profit growth of 20 percent for firms in the equity index. That would be the second-biggest increase since 2011, behind this year’s first quarter.

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