S&P 500 climbs above record close

US shares have inched higher on an economic news-deficient day, although we do have several Fed officials delivering speeches later in the trading session.

Not only is today thin in terms of economic reports, but the first half of the week is fairly short in this regard. With an absence of major catalysts, the US stock market has edged up, carrying some momentum over from Friday’s strong gains.

By early afternoon in New York, the Dow Jones was up 0.12% or 19 points at 16,039. The S&P 500 boasted stronger gains, rising 0.35% to 1811.34, taking the index a couple of points above its previous record closing high.

The gains in the Dow came despite a 0.9% fall in McDonald’s, after the fast-food giant announced disappointing global sales figures for November. McDonald’s restaurants open at least 13 months saw sales climb 0.5% worldwide last month, just shy of the consensus estimate for a 0.6% rise. Domestic performance was worse, with US same store sales declining 0.8%, against forecasts calling for a 0.3% increase.

The Fed meets for its December meeting next week and the central bank’s officials will soon be going into radio silence mode, but we have several heads of regional reserve banks speaking today, including James Bullard, the president of the St Louis Fed, who is a voting member of the FOMC this year.

Ahead of the Fed speeches, the dollar was mainly lower against major currencies, with EUR/USD up 0.23% and GBP/USD +0.42%.

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