US stocks begin holiday-shortened week on positive note

US stocks begin holiday-shortened week on positive note

NYSE Nov20
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished higher on Monday (Nov 20) in a positive start to the holiday-shortened Thanksgiving week, historically a strong period for US equities.

US stocks have been under pressure the last two weeks due to worries about the prospects for tax cuts in Washington and anxiety about high equity valuations.

But investors are feeling upbeat after a run of mostly good data, including Monday's report from the Conference Board on leading economic indicators, said William Lynch of Hinsdale Associations.

"There is a good possibility that GDP growth in the third quarter could be three per cent or higher after pretty strong growth in the first two quarters," he said.

Lynch said the Thanksgiving week usually is a strong one for stocks, despite light trading volumes. US markets are closed on Thursday and open for just a half day on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 72.09 points (0.31 per cent) to end the session at 23,430.33.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 3.29 points (0.13 per cent) to close at 2,582.14 while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 7.92 points (0.12 per cent) to 6,790.71.

Time Warner dropped 1.2 per cent following reports citing unnamed sources that the Justice Department is set to file suit to block its proposed takeover by AT&T. A&&T gained 0.4 per cent.

Chip manufacturer Cavium jumped 10.8 per cent after it agreed to be acquired by Marvell Technology Group for about US$6 billion. The deal will lift Marvell's total potential market to more than US$12 billion. Marvell gained 6.4 per cent.

Source: AFP/de