US stocks finish at all-time highs

US stocks finish at all-time highs

NYSE 1360
Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: AFP/Bryan R Smith)

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished at fresh records on Thursday (Jan 11) behind gains in industrial and petroleum-linked equities, resuming their upward climb after a one-day pullback.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 205.60 points (0.81 per cent) to 25,574.73.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 19.33 points (0.70 per cent) to 2,767.56, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 58.21 points (0.81 per cent) to 7,211.78.

Thursday's rally was prompted in part by higher oil prices, which boosted petroleum-linked equities. Investors are also keen for the upcoming earnings season, which kicks off Friday with reports from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

But analysts said the gains also reflected the market's underlying bullishness after a sweeping US tax cut was enacted in December. That dynamic means investors are eager to jump in and buy at the least sign of weakness, such as Wednesday, when all three indices fell for the first time all year.

"The path of least resistance is still up," said Maris Ogg of Towers Bridge Advisors.

Oil-linked shares with big gains included Dow member Chevron, up 3.1 per cent, Apache, up 4.7 per cent and Schlumberger, up 1.9 per cent.

Industrial companies that advanced included Dow members Caterpillar and Boeing which won 2.0 and 2.4 per cent and Cummins, which advanced 1.9 per cent.

Delta Air Lines surged 4.8 per cent after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 96 cents per share, eight cents above analyst expectations. American Airlines and United Continental also pushed sharply higher.

Source: AFP/ec