Wall Street stock markets edge to fresh highs

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Dow Jones Industrial Average

Last Updated at 19 Mar 2018, 19:58 GMT *Chart shows local time Dow Jones intraday chart
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Nasdaq Index

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S&P 500 Cash Index - Chicago Mercantile Exchange

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(Close): Wall Street continued its recent rally, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes inching to new records.

Stock markets have been bolstered by central banks' stimulus measures aimed at reviving flagging economic growth.

The Dow Jones rose 7.84 points to 17,817.9, while the S&P rose 5.9 points to 2,069.4. The Nasdaq was 41.9 points better at 4,754.89.

"You clearly have momentum favouring stocks right now," said Blackrock chief investment strategist Russ Koesterich.

Retailers including Coach, Urban Outfitters and Gap were gainers on expectations that consumers will start spending ahead of the Christmas period.

Telecommunications stocks were among the day's biggest losers. Verizon and AT&T fell after analysts at Citigroup published a gloomy review of the sector and predicted a tough year ahead for the two companies. Verizon fell 1.4%.

Earlier on Monday, European shares were boosted by a survey from Germany which said business confidence had risen for the first time in six months.

The Ifo think-tank, which produced the survey, said the downturn in Germany's economy "has ground to a halt for the moment".

Also boosting the markets were hopes that China could take more action, following Friday's surprise cut in interest rates.

The dollar resumed its climb against the Japanese yen. The US currency rose to 118.26 yen from 117.79 yen Friday. The euro rose to $1.2439 from $1.2360.