Advancing U.S. stocks lifted the S&P 500 to its loftiest close ever after Friday's jobs report exceeded expectations. Separately, Japan's ruling coalition scored an election win that some predict will lead to more government stimulus.
Toppling an intraday high of 2,134.72 set on May 20, 2015, the S&P 500 (SPX) closed at 2,137, up 7 points, or 0.34 percent, with the benchmark index up about 5 percent for the year.
The closing high of 2,130.82 was set May 21, 2015 -- the only time the index closed above 2,130.
"Over 68 percent of the S&P 500 have moved at least 10 percent from the May 21, 2015 high, with over 40 percent moving at least 20 percent -- a stock-pickers market," noted Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Monday's gains follow a huge move up on Friday after the June jobs report offset worries about May and April data, without moving the needle much on expectations that an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve is still many months away.
"We do not expect a recession anytime soon, but that also doesn't mean fast enough growth to create worries about significantly higher interest rates," said Paul Nolte, senior vice president and portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management. "To borrow a term from the late 90s, maybe this is a Goldilocks period where growth is not too hot, but not too cold to require any changes from the Fed."
Additionally, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank have indicated a willingness to move to counter any negative impact from the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union.