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The S&P 500, Wall Street’s benchmark equities barometer, climbed above its record closing high in late-morning trading on Wednesday, although its all-time intraday peak remained elusive.

The index climbed as high as 2,398.16, above the previous record close of 2,395.96 set on March 1, according to Bloomberg data.

US stocks have been bid higher this week after the first round of the French presidential election eased concerns that the populist Marine Le Pen would triumph in May. Sentiment has been further buoyed by rising hopes that the Trump administration will slash corporate and personal taxes.

The US government will unveil the details of president Donald Trump’s tax plan this afternoon, and US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said at an event in Washington this morning that it will involve swinging cuts.

“We want to simplify the personal tax system, lower taxes and create economic growth. This is going to be the biggest tax cut and largest tax reform in the history of our country,” he said.

That has helped push the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq Composite indices to fresh records on Wednesday, and the S&P 500 – the biggest stock market gauge with more than $23tn of equities included – is up another 0.3 per cent by midday in New York, at 2,396.7 points. If sustained until the end of the trading day that would be the highest closing level on record, and put it in touching distance of the all-time intraday record of 2,400.98 reached on March 1.

“US stocks are expensive. Sentiment is not very bearish. Nonetheless, we think that the 6-12 month case supports a higher allocation to risk than we had before,” Morgan Stanley’s analysts said in a note on Wednesday.

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