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The S&P 500 stock index has touched the milestone of 5,000 for the first time, setting a fresh record high as a narrow group of companies continued to drive the benchmark upwards.

The basket of blue-chip US stocks rose as high as 5,000.4 on Thursday, seconds before closing the session 0.1 per cent higher at a record 4.997.91. That brought its gains since the start of the year to nearly 5 per cent.

Chipmaker Nvidia and Facebook owner Meta have led the market higher, each advancing more than 30 per cent in the new year. Strong gains for the largest companies have more than offset the concerns of investors about how quickly the Federal Reserve plans to reduce US interest rates this year.

This post has been amended to correct the percentage increase in the S&P 500 on Thursday

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