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US stocks gain for 4th straight session

US stocks gain for 4th straight session

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: AP/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK: US stocks rose on Wednesday (Jan 9) for a fourth straight session, although gains moderated somewhat following a breakdown in talks in Washington on ending the government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 91.67 points (0.39 per cent) at 23,879.12.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 10.55 points (0.41 per cent) to 2,584.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 60.08 points (0.87 per cent) to 6,957.08.

Wall Street has been on the upswing since Friday, when Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signalled to markets that the US central bank would take a cautious approach to further interest rate hikes.

The rally has also been fuelled by optimism over US-China trade talks and the sense that stocks were undervalued following a December sell-off.

Fed minutes released Wednesday had a dovish hue, noting that the US central bank "can afford to be patient" before raising again.

But gains moderated in the final 40 minutes of trading after President Donald Trump tweeted that a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders was a "total waste of time."

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump had a "temper tantrum" and "just got up and walked out."

Karl Haeling of LBBW said the late-session dustup in Washington raised questions about the government's ability to "function appropriately" but noted that there were also technical factors behind the pullback after three straight up sessions.

"The stock market went up on a continued technical momentum over optimism on the trade talks," he said, adding that higher oil prices were also beneficial.

Petroleum-linked companies with big gains included Halliburton, which jumped 2.7 per cent and Apache, which surged 5.1 per cent.

Constellation Brands plunged 12.5 per cent after its 2019 forecast missed analyst expectations due to weakness in its wine and spirits business.

Source: AFP/ec

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