Dow nears 20,000, Nasdaq hits record
Wall Street opened slightly higher yesterday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average resuming its march towards 20,000 and the Nasdaq hitting a record, helped by gains in technology shares. Energy stocks also rose, supported by oil prices. US crude was up 0.94 percent at $53.52, while Brent crude inched towards $56 as a deal to limit supply comes into effect on Sunday. The Dow Jones industrial average marked its seventh straight week of gains on Friday, feeding on optimism that President-elect Donald Trump's plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending would bolster the economy. "The first day of trading in the final week of 2016 is not likely to reverse form last week's trading sessions," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial wrote in a note.
Global markets made small gains on data that showed Chinese industry racked up its strongest profit growth in three months in November, suggesting the world's second-largest economy was improving. Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with technology and energy stocks giving the broader index its biggest boost.
At 9:36 a.m. ET (1436 GMT), the Dow Jones was up 29.42 points, or 0.15 percent, at 19,963.23. The index was just 13 points away from the psychological milestone of 20,000 last Tuesday.—Reuters