Stock Indexes Pause at New Highs

U.S. stocks are little-changed this morning after closing at record levels yesterday.

Most European markets are up by more than half a percent after government reports showed that German industrial production rose unexpectedly in March and Chinese trade expanded more than forecast in April. Both headlines support a view that the global economy is emerging from a slow period earlier this year. Asian markets rose by more than half a percent overnight.

The S&P 500 ended yesterday near 1626, its sixth record closing high in the last seven sessions. Investors have been increasingly comfortable taking risk as credit spreads narrow, home prices rise, and consumers keep spending despite higher taxes and cuts in government spending.

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