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S&P 500 doubles from pandemic low; Dow Jones hits record high

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S&P 500 doubles from pandemic low; Dow Jones hits record high
The S&P 500 rose 0.26% to a record high of 4,479.71 up 100.2% from its lowest close of 2,237.40 on March 23, near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the fastest rise to a bull market since World War II. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both hit record highs to begin the week as several major retailers were set to report earnings.

The blue-chip Dow gained 110.02 points, or 0.31%, while the S&P 500 closed the day up 0.26%. The Nasdaq Composite lagged behind, dropping 0.2%.

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The S&P's rise brought it to a record 4,479.71 up 100.2% from its lowest close of 2,237.40 on March 23, near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It took the market 354 trading days to arrive at that point, marking the fastest bull-market doubling since World War II.

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"Usually it takes many years to double, so this is another way of showing just how incredible this bull market has been," said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial.

Markets were driven higher Monday as Walmart rose 0.83% and Home Depot gained 1.18% as they are both set to report their second quarter earnings on Tuesday. Target climbed 0.62% and Lowe's closed up 1.59% ahead of their earnings reports on Wednesday.

"I think it'll be very key to hear from U.S. retail companies to see not only if this Delta variant surge is having any impact to consumer behavior, but also to what their projections are for the rest of the year, given that we're in the back to school spending season," Margaret Reid, senior portfolio manager at Union Bank, told Yahoo Finance.

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The 10-year treasury yield fell to 1.26% dragging bank stocks lower as Bank of America fell 0.83%, JPMorgan Chase dropped 0.66% and Goldman Sachs dipped 0.59%.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell more than 1% to about $67 per barrel, dragging Exxon Mobil down 1.43%, while Chevron dropped 0.99%.

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