Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | ePaper

US stocks gain for 4th straight session

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AFP, New York :
US stocks rose Wednesday for a fourth straight session, although gains moderated somewhat following a breakdown in talks in Washington on ending the government shutdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.4 percent at 23,879.12.
The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.4 percent to 2,584.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.9 percent to 6,957.08.
Wall Street has been on the upswing since Friday, when Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled to markets that the US central bank would take a cautious approach to further interest rate hikes.
The rally has also been fueled by optimism over US-China trade talks and the sense that stocks were undervalued following a December sell-off.
Fed minutes released Wednesday had a dovish hue, noting that the US central bank "can afford to be patient" before raising again. But gains moderated in the final 40 minutes of trading after President Donald Trump tweeted that a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders was a "total waste of time."
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump had a "temper tantrum" and "just got up and walked out."
Karl Haeling of LBBW said the late-session dustup in Washington raised questions about the government's ability to "function appropriately" but noted that there were also technical factors behind the pullback after three straight up sessions.
"The stock market went up on a continued technical momentum over optimism on the trade talks," he said, adding that higher oil prices were also beneficial.
Petroleum-linked companies with big gains included Halliburton, which jumped 2.7 percent and Apache, which surged 5.1 percent.
Constellation Brands plunged 12.5 percent after its 2019 forecast missed analyst expectations due to weakness in its wine and spirits business.

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