Stocks rose 1%, building on the strongest first half of any year since 1998 as concerns continued to ease that the Federal Reserve would soon taper its bond-buying program, CNBC writes.

Gains in 2013 have largely been fueled by the Fed's accommodative bond-buying policy, which helped take major indexes to a series of record highs before pulling back on after comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke created uncertainty over when the central bank will end the policy.