S&P 500 Index Tops 1,700 Points for the First Time

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 13:  A trader smiles on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on July 13, 2012 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied July 13, closing up almost 204 points to finish at 12,777. The rally ended a 6-day slump, the longest since mid-May.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
John Moore/Getty Images
Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 index above 1,700 points for the first time.

Big sales numbers from automakers and an improving jobs picture are sending the stock market higher in early trading Thursday.

Shortly after trading opened, the S&P 500 index was up 14 points at 1,700, a gain of 0.9 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 128 points, or 0.8 percent, at 15,628.

Both indexes are trading at record levels. July was the best month for the stock market since January.

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