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Stocks Hit New Highs, and That Could Be Just the Start

A troika of stock indexes hit records in tandem for the first time since 1999. The question is whether the party is just getting started.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite all rose to highs on the same day, an alignment that hasn’t occurred since Dec. 31, 1999. The records punctuate a march that defies stocks’ sharp downdraft at the year’s start. The ratio of stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq hitting 52-week highs versus 52-week lows recently surged to its highest level in years.

“The last time we’ve seen levels like this consistently was in 2013, which went on to be one of the best years for stocks,” said Frank Cappelleri, executive director of institutional equities at Instinet LLC. In 2013, the S&P 500 rose 30%.

This year, the Dow is up 6.8%, the S&P 6.9% and the Nasdaq Composite 4.4%.

For some traders, the trends suggest stocks could enjoy a sudden surge. The bump could happen once investors return from summer vacations and begin taking some cash off the sidelines, they say. U.S. stock-trading volumes have been below the 2016 average in recent weeks.

The consensus one-year target for the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now more...


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