The early-summer swoon has given way to a stock market regaining its bullish form, with the Standard & Poor's 500 on track for its best August performance since 2000 -- ahead of what historically has been a rocky September for stocks.
Despite a 3-point loss Thursday to 1997, the S&P 500 is up 3.4% for the month. With one trading day left, the benchmark U.S. stock index is on pace for its best August performance since 2000. On Tuesday, it closed above the 2000 milestone for the first time, and Wednesday, it notched its 31st record close of the year.
"The market is refocused on earnings and economic data," says
Stocks, however, are heading into a seasonally weak month. September has been the worst-performing month for the Dow in the past 50 and 100 years, says
The brightening outlook for the U.S. economy was clear Thursday, when the government revised second-quarter growth, or GDP, upward to 4.2% from 4%. The second-quarter earnings season has also been strong, with companies in the S&P 500 posting earnings growth of nearly 9%, says
Confidence is up and fear is down, says Doug CotÉ, chief market strategist at Voya Asset Management. He cites the robust deal market, such as the recent
Still, while investors have shrugged off geopolitical fears for the most part, the market showed signs of jitters Thursday when news spread that Russian troops continue to be active inside
"That could be a worry," says
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