S&P 500 close to breaking its record

The S&P 500 rose to less than two points from its 2007 record. Rising home prices and February’s factory orders surge, helped by demand for aircraft, drove stocks up from the opening bell. Housing prices rose in January at the fastest pace since 2006. All 10 S&P 500 groups rose, with health care and energy leading. The index, a proxy for the overall market, is up 9.6% this year. European markets rose modestly as investors gained confidence in the bailout plan for Cyprus. ‘Unless something major comes along to derail this rally, it just seems like the market is going to keep climbing,’ said Marty LeClerc, at Barrack Yard Advisors.