U.S. equities closed at record highs on Monday as Wall Street kicked off the fourth quarter on a high note.Holiday spending expected to increase 6 percent this year
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 152.51 points to close at 22,557.60, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most to the gains.
The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent to 2,529.12, led by gains in health care and financials. Health care was one of the best-performing sectors, rising 0.9 percent, as biotech stocks posted their best day since Aug. 31. Financials rose 0.89 percent and have gained nearly 2 percent in the past month.
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"The economy is doing well despite the storms," Bittles said. Also, "a lot of folks don't think there will be tax reform but the market thinks there will be. If that happens, it will be a big boost to the economy."
Last week, Republicans unveiled a proposal that would lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent. The current U.S. corporate tax rate sits at 35 percent.
Tax-reform expectations have been a key catalyst for stocks since President Donald Trump's election, along with hopes of deregulation.
Overall holiday spending across the US is expected to rise 6 percent this year, to an average of $1,189 per person — but wealthier shoppers are expected to really cut loose, a national survey has found.But the publication presents the rich spending more for Christmas as a bad thing, of course.
Those earning $100,000 to $149,999 are expected to jack up their holiday spending by 15 percent, to $1,609 per person, the survey, from PwC, found.
American optimism about the economy hits an all-time high in new CNBC survey
The third-quarter CNBC All-America Economic Survey found 43 percent of the public believes the economy is excellent or good, a record high in the 10-year history of the survey. Thirty-six percent believes the economy will get better, down a couple of points from last quarter, but just 23 percent say it will get worse, down 6 points.
The four-quarter average for every major economic metric in the poll --- the outlook for the economy, housing, wages and the stock market --- is at a record 10-year high. Those four quarters cover the time span since President Donald Trump's election.