Nasdaq, S&P 500 hit new records

A man looks at a stock indicator showing Nasdaq Composite numbers, in Tokyo on February 7, 2018. Tokyo stocks rebounded slightly in a rollercoaster session on February 7 after Wall Street finished the previous day with solid gains following a global rout. Photo: Behrouz MEHRI / AFP

NEW YORK - Wall Street opened 2018 on a winning note Tuesday, bidding Nasdaq to its first-ever close above 7,000 points following a rally in technology shares.

At the closing bell, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index had jumped 1.5 percent to end the first session of the year at 7,006.90.

The S&P 500 also notched a fresh record, gaining 0.8 percent to close at 2,695.79, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 percent to 24,824.01, about 13 points below its all-time record.

The year's buoyant start suggested the turning of the calendar has not altered the bullish sentiment that propelled the market to dozens of records in 2017 amid improving earnings and anticipation of a US tax cut plan that President Donald Trump signed into law in December.

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"As long as the economic data suggests improvement, the companies will see more funds from investors," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Annuities.

Key US data releases this week include auto sales and the employment report for December.

The market was led by technology companies, some of which underperformed in the final weeks of 2017 as money managers steered funds to other sectors.

Apple, Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet all rose close to two percent. And the gains were even bigger for Netflix, which surged 4.8 percent, as well as several biotechnology companies, including Biogen, which rose 4.9 percent.

Petroleum-linked shares also had a good day, with some energy watchers pointing to rising unrest in Iran as a potential threat to oil supply. Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron each gained more than 1.5 percent on a day when oil prices retreated.

Media shares were another strong group, with Disney soaring 3.7 percent, Comcast 3.0 percent and Viacom 1.2 percent.

AFP

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