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Mercados

S&P 500 completes recovery from COVID-19 sell-off, hits record high

Aug 18 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index hit an all-time high on Tuesday, completing its recovery from the stock market crash after the onset of the coronavirus crisis in February.

The index was up at 3,394.99 points at 09:48 a.m. ET, topping the high of 3,393.52 hit on Feb. 19 and further underlining the disconnect between a rally driven by trillions in official stimulus and a recession-hit U.S. economy.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite in June was the first of the three major U.S. stock indexes to reclaim record highs as investors gravitated to stocks including Amazon.com and Netflix seen as stay-at-home winners from COVID-19 lockdowns.

It has taken the benchmark S&P 500 about two months longer as surging COVID-19 cases sparked fears of another round of shutdowns that would again cripple business activity.

On the day, the S&P 500 gained 0.4% putting it up about 55% from March’s lows. The Nasdaq gained 0.6% to hit a record high and the Dow Jones Industrials, which is still about 6% off its February highs, added 0.1%.

Of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, the technology index , which includes Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp , has climbed about 25% this year, while the consumer discretionary index, which includes Amazon, has jumped 22%.

Closing at a record high, according to a widely accepted definition, would confirm that the S&P 500 has been in a new bull market since its pandemic low on March 23. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham)

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