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S&P 500 on brink of all-time high

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The S&P 500 is on the verge of passing its all-time closing high after rising as much as 0.5% in early trading.

Boosted by news of a bailout deal for Cyprus, the index rose to within a point of the all-time closing high of 1565.15, reached in October 2007, before dropping back into the red.

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average having hit a record of its own earlier this month, and now trading well past the 14,164 mark set in late 2007, the S&P is now a whisker away from its own intra-day high.

The index, seen as a more reliable measure of the US equity market, has risen over 9% year-to-date as eurozone fears recede and investors grow more optimistic over the strength of the US economic recovery.

Today’s optimism was soon dashed, however, when comments from Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem saw gains reverse.

Dijsselbloem said bail-ins of the kind seen in Cyprus this morning may mean direct recapitalisations of banks by the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund are not required.

That sent global equity markets lower, with the FTSE 100 shedding most of its gains to stand 0.1% higher at 6,400 by mid-afternoon.

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