Stock Market Today: Stocks Get Juiced as Yellen Argues for Labor Expansion

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 smashed its way through 2,000 on Monday, bolstering the case that the current rally will continue.

Markets gains were propelled by Burger King's (BKW)  announcement that it's in talks to buy Tim Hortons (THI) , among other proposed deals, along with new confidence in Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.48% to settle at 1,997.92 after trading as a high as 2,001.95. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.44% to 17,076.87. The Nasdaq added on 0.41% to 4,557.35.

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The recent rise in stocks is due in part to Yellen's apparent ability to convert bond investors to her view that labor market improvement will ultimately good for the broad economy. Yellen has argued that just because the rate of unemployment comes down, that doesn't necessarily mean interest rates are bound to go up.

At the annual central bankers symposium at Jackson Hole last week, Yellen managed to reinforce to investors why interest rates will possibly stay lower for longer, and that's been a big support for equity prices on Monday. Meanwhile Draghi used Jackson Hole as a venue to explain why the ECB is closer to a round of quantitative easing as early as September.

"When you think about these two things, you've got an even further underpinning for the stock market, which has been predicated by ultra-low interest rates," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers. "2,000 has a high gravitational pull as the economy has been recovering, the labor market has improved and as interest rates have remained low."

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