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S&P 500 CLIMBS TO RECORD CLOSE

Associated Press

NEW YORK - Technology companies led the Standard & Poor's 500 index to an all-time closing high Monday.

The stock market has recovered all the ground it lost over the previous two weeks, when worries over slower economic growth, falling commodity prices and disappointing quarterly earnings battered financial markets.

The S&P 500 index rose 11.37 points to close at 1,593.61. The 0.7 percent increase nudged the index above its previous closing high of 1,593.36, reached on April 11.

"The market has had a terrific run," said Philip Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors, noting that the S&P 500 is up 12 percent since the start of 2013.

A pair of better economic reports gave investors some encouragement. Wages and spending rose in the U.S. last month, while the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes reached the highest level since April 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors. Back then, a tax credit for buying houses had lifted sales.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 106.20 points to 14,818.75, up 0.7 percent. Microsoft and IBM were among the Dow's best performers, rising more than 2 percent each. The Nasdaq composite rose 27.76 points to 3,307.02, an increase of 0.9 percent. Apple, the biggest stock in the index, surged 3 percent, or $12.92, to $430.12.

Information technology stocks rose the most of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 on Monday, up 1.6 percent. It's the only group that remains lower over the past year, down 2 percent, versus the S&P 500's gain of 14 percent.

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