The S&P 500 set a record closing high on Thursday, finishing a fifth consecutive month of gains to extend a four-year rally. The S&P had hovered near its record for more than two weeks, and market action next week will help determine if this is just another stepping stone for the rally, or if a long-expected pullback is in the offing. The benchmark S&P 500 closed its strongest quarter in a year, up 10 percent. The Dow climbed 11.3 percent and the Nasdaq gained 8.2 percent for the first three months of the year. The new closing high “is a very appropriate punctuation for a great quarter that saw a lot of last year’s anxieties recede,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland. “However, this could be the start to a more realistic look at the problems that still haven’t gone away. Some degree of caution is probably still merited, with the problems in Cyprus probably only the beginning to what we could see in coming months.” The rally hit a wall in the last two weeks as the latest chapter in the euro-zone crisis developed, with Cyprus nearing a default and a possible exit… Read full this story
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