NEW YORKcrashofthetitansalltitans, June 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended higher on Monday, as investors remain optimistic ahead of comments from several Federal Reserve officials this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 188.94 points, or 0.49 percent, to 38,778.1. The S&P 500 added 41.63 points, or 0.77 percent, to a new record high of 5,473.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased by 168.14 points, or 0.95 percent, to 17,857.02, hitting its sixth straight record close of the year.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in green, with consumer discretionary and technology leading the gainers by going up 1.43 percent and 1.18 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, utilities and real estate led the laggards by dropping 1.14 percent and 0.70 percent, respectively.

crashofthetitansalltitans|U.S. stocks close higher on upbeat sentiment

"Today is a follow through from what we've seen over the last week," said Greg Bassuk, CEO at AXS Investments. "We're seeing optimism around a number of factors that have been mixed for quite some time," he said.

"The economic data is starting to come in stronger with more consistency, you've got signs of a resilient economy. Certainly, there's optimism and bullishness around a greater likelihood of the potential start of rate cuts," he said.

The U.S. Federal Reserve would be able to cut its benchmark interest rate once this year if his economic forecast plays out, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on Monday.

"If all of it happens to be as forecasted, I think one rate cut would be appropriate by year's end," Harker said. Although recent inflation data showed improvement, Harker believes it's too early to make decisions. He needs to see a consistent trend over several months before taking action, given the current economic uncertainty.

Monday's gains came after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted their seventh weekly gain in eight weeks. It's a short trading week, since markets closed Wednesday in honor of Juneteenth. The U.S. retail sales Tuesday and housing starts data Thursday could shed light on the state of the U.S. consumer and economy.