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US stocks hold onto gains as government shutdown ends

US stocks hold onto gains as government shutdown ends

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

NEW YORK: The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a fifth straight week of gains, buoyed on Friday (Jan 25) by strong earnings and hopes for a resolution to the US-China trade war.

But markets appeared little moved by President Donald Trump's announcement of an agreement to re-open the federal government after public services started to buckle under the strain of a record-length shutdown.

Earlier in the day, The Wall Street Journal also reported the Federal Reserve was considering curtailing the runoff of its multi-trillion-dollar bond holdings, lifting investor sentiments.

The benchmark Dow climbed 183.96 points (0.75 per cent) to end the week at 24,737.20, erasing 2018's losses.

The broader S&P 500 gained 22.43 points (0.85 per cent), settling at 2,664.76. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 18.45 points (1.26 per cent), closing at 7,164.86.

The final prices left the Dow and Nasdaq both up a slender 0.1 per cent for the week but the S&P down 0.2 per cent, largely as a result of Tuesday's sell-off.

Karl Haeling of LBBW told AFP investors were most receptive to positive news.

"The market still trades with this bias to react more to positive news than negative news," he said.

He also noted that markets largely expected Trump to blink first in the battle of wills over the government shutdown.

"Once we got confirmation, it gave the market no support at all."

Intel sank 5.5 per cent on disappointing earnings but investors largely looked past this, cheered by a run of other good quarterly results.

The good feeling extended to the tech sector, with Apple, Amazon, Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook all posting solid gains.

Eyes will turn to trade and monetary policy developments next week as the US officials host a Chinese trade delegation and the Federal Reserve announces its latest monetary policy decision.

Source: AFP/ec


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