With tech giants back in charge, stocks hit records again

Apple and other big-name technology stocks got back to their winning ways Monday and helped drive U.S. indexes once again to record heights.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 20.31 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,453.46 and surpassed its old record, set nearly a week ago, by half a percent. The Dow Jones industrial average added 144.71 points, or 0.7 percent, to 21,528.99, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 87.25, or 1.4 percent, to 6,239.01.

Tech heavyweights, which had been among the stock market’s biggest stars until recently, led the way. After being up more than 20 percent for the year, tech stocks in the S&P 500 fell sharply two Fridays ago on worries that they had risen too much, too quickly. In a little more than a week, tech stocks lost about a fifth of their year-to-date gains.

On Monday, Apple rose for just the second time since two Thursdays ago. It jumped $4.07, or 2.9 percent, to $146.34 for its second-best day of the year so far. Google’s parent, Alphabet, rose $16.60, or 1.7 percent, to $975.22. Altogether, tech stocks in the S&P 500 rose 1.7 percent, the largest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index.

It’s just the latest example of investors steeling themselves and “buying the dip.” Every time the stock market has shown any weakness in the last eight years, it’s proven to be a good move for investors to buy. That’s because stocks have ended up erasing any losses incurred, only to move higher. That long track record has trained investors to pounce whenever they see a dip, and analysts have noticed how ingrained the instinct has become.

“It’s concerning, but I don’t see what breaks it at this point of time,” said Nate Thooft, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. “It’s going to be really, really hard to predict what that circumstance is. For the time being, investors are thinking, ‘We can’t afford not to be in this market, and we’ll continue to play along with the dynamics of the gradual melt-up.'”

Thooft expects…

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