Mark Lennihan / AP
Published Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 | 7:30 a.m.
Updated Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 | 8:24 a.m.
U.S. stocks reached another milestone as the Standard & Poor's 500 index traded briefly above 2,000 points for the first time early Monday. Financial markets were up after central bankers signaled continued support for the economy.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,998 as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average added 94 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,095. The Nasdaq composite rose 25 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,564.
RECORD TERRITORY: The S&P 500, a widely followed barometer of the U.S. stock market, crossed above 2,000 in the first hour of trading Monday.
HOUSING STUMBLE: The Commerce Department said sales of new U.S. homes slid 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000. That's down from an upwardly revised June rate. New home sales have struggled to gain traction this year, held back by modest wage growth, a bump in mortgage rates and rising home prices. Several homebuilder stocks turned lower after the report came out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, led by D.R. Horton with a decline of 17 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $21.67.
STIMULUS TALK: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled in a speech Friday that the bank is considering asset purchases to pump more money into Europe's economy, though he gave no guidance on if or when that would happen. Hopes of stimulus in France were boosted by President Francois Hollande's dissolution of his government after an open feud in his Cabinet over the country's stagnant economy.
DONUT KING?: Burger King rose $4.17, or 15.3 percent, to $31.26 on news the fast-food chain is in talks to acquire doughnut chain Tim Hortons and create a new holding company headquartered in Canada, a move that could shave its tax bill.
OVERSEAS MARKETS: Germany's DAX advanced 1.4 percent, while France' CAC 40 rose 1.5 percent. British markets were closed for a holiday. Markets in Asia were mixed, with Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225, South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng each notching gains Monday, while China's Shanghai Composite index and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 each declined.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held at 2.40 percent in early trading. Benchmark U.S. crude for October delivery fell 31 cents to $93.65 a barrel in New York.
AP Business Writer Youkyoung Lee contributed to this report from Seoul, South Korea.