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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

New York (AFP) – The S&P 500 Tuesday closed at a new record as US stocks rallied following solid economic data and investor relief over U.S. Federal Reserve policy.

The S&P 500 jumped 13.18 (0.70 percent) to 1,885.52, its first record close since March 7.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 74.95 (0.46 percent) to 16,532.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 69.05 (1.64 percent) to 4,268.04.

“We’ve had a little bit of a sigh of relief,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

Hogan attributed the markets’ improved sentiment to “better” economic data, including a report Tuesday from the Institute for Supply Management that showed U.S. manufacturing activity rose in March.

Investors are also heartened by comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen Monday that suggest no “abrupt” change to U.S. monetary policy that has been supporting the economy, Hogan said.

Yellen’s comments emphasized the need to improve the U.S. employment picture and reassured that the Fed would not quickly end its accommodative measures.

Finally, while geopolitical tensions over Ukraine remain high, they have not worsened, Hogan added.

AFP Photo/Stan Honda

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Just over year before her untimely death on Friday, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared as a guest lecturer for the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, AR with National Public Radio correspondent Nina Totenberg. The crowd that signed up to see "Notorious RBG" live was so large that the event had to be moved to a major sports arena – and they weren't disappointed by the wide-ranging, hour-long interview.

Witty, charming, brilliant, principled, Ginsburg represented the very best of American liberalism and modern feminism. Listen to her and you'll feel even more deeply what former President Bill Clinton says in his poignant introduction: "Only one of us in this room appointed her…but all of us hope that she will stay on that court forever."