US STOCKS-S&P 500 hits record high on strong economy, earnings bets
* Nasdaq Composite at highest level this year
* Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet give biggest boost to S&P
* Indexes up: Dow 0.58 pct, S&P 0.49 pct, Nasdaq 0.78 pct (Updates prices, changes byline)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 broke a record high on Monday it held for more than a year, as a string of upbeat economic data alongside low bond yields continued to funnel investors into U.S. equities.
Led by gains in sectors seen thriving in an expanding economy, the benchmark touched a record intraday high of 2,143.16 points to overtake the previous high of 2,134.72, hit on May 20, 2015.
However, the best performing S&P 500 sectors since the previous record have been defensive: utilities, telecoms and consumer staples, all with double-digit percentage gains.
This outperformance in high-yielding areas of the market underscores longstanding investor concerns over the economy's resilience in the face of global stagnation and feeds into the idea that ultra low bond yields have pushed fixed income investors into stocks.
"We don't have the rising (bond) yields that would typically check the market rally, that's one of the reasons we keep going higher," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis. Continuación...