NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 maintained record highs on Monday as global optimism surrounding stimulus measures from China's central bank and the European Central Bank and a holiday-shortened week kept investors in a positive mood.
"The seasonality has a bullish tilt," Raymond James' chief investment strategist Jeffrey D. Saut wrote in a note. "I have learned the hard way that it is difficult to sell stocks off during the ebullient period between Thanksgiving and Christmas ... Thanksgiving week also has a bullish bias with a gain for the week of +0.64% two-thirds of the time."
In afternoon trading, the S&P 500 rose 0.21% and the Nasdaq surged 0.77%.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped slightly from its record highs, down 0.03%. Verizon (VZ) was one of the worst performers of the index after receiving a downgrade from Citigroup's Michael Rolling on concerns the "wireless industry is experiencing a great disconnect between the growth in data traffic and the growth in revenue." Verizon dropped 1.6% while peer AT&T (T) fell 1.8%.
United Technologies (UTX) was also dragging on the Dow, down 1.4% after CEO Louis Chenevert announced his retirement, effective immediately. Chief Financial Officer Gregory Hayes will assume the position.
International markets climbed as investors continued to celebrate news last week of an unexpected interest rate cut from China's central bank and the European Central Bank's commitment to growth-boosting stimulus measures. Asian markets finished Monday's session higher with China's Shanghai Composite spiking to a three-year high and Hong Kong's Hang Seng popping nearly 2%.