The US markets closed higher on Monday, with the S&P 500 index and Dow industrials closing at records on the back of a rally in telecommunications and technology shares. Wall Street shrugged off news of a terrorism incident in the heart of New York City earlier in the session, which resulted in no fatalities. Investors mostly looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's two-day monetary-policy meeting, which is slated to conclude Wednesday. The central bank is largely expected to deliver its third, and last, interest-rate hike for 2017.
On the economy front, the number of job openings in the country fell to a hair under 6 million in October from a record 6.18 million in the prior month. About 5.55 million people were hired and 4.85 million lost their jobs. The share of people who left jobs on their own, known as the quits rate, was unchanged at 2.4% among private-sector employees. It was 2.2% if government workers are included. The decline in job openings was concentrated in the wholesale business, financial companies and information-related work such as media and public relations. Openings for maids, waiters and construction workers rose, but not enough to counter the decline elsewhere. The US has created almost 17.5 million jobs since 2010 to slash the unemployment rate to a nearly 17-year low of 4.1%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 56.87 points or 0.23 percent to 24,386.03, the Nasdaq gained 34.997 points or 0.51 percent to 6,875.08, while the S&P 500 edged higher by 8.49 points or 0.32 percent to 2,659.99.