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While you were sleeping: UPDATED Dow edges up but falls short of 20,000

Nasdaq reaches record high of 5512.37 before falling back..

Margreet Dietz
Wed, 28 Dec 2016

Wall Street gained, pushing the Nasdaq to an intraday record high but the Dow falls short of its never-before-reached 20,000 mark.

Oil prices also moved higher ahead of planned production cuts.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 11.23 points, or 0.06%, to 19,945.04, 55 points of the 20,000 milestone.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose to a record high 5512.37 but drifted back for a 0.45% rise to 5487.14. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.2% to 2268.88.

The Dow moved higher as advances in shares of Apple (up 0.6%) and those of Cisco outweighed declines in Boeing and those of Procter & Gamble.

Tech shares, led by Nvidia (up 6.9%) also pushed up the S&P 500

"December was quite a run for markets, and now everyone is waiting to see whether the Dow Jones touches the 20,000 level," Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland, told Bloomberg.

"After such a run, everyone is a bit fearful whether we are the height of the market and we'll see a correction or the rally will continue. We still need to see better earnings and the new President Trump doing the right thing in the first days of his term."

Shares of Amazon climbed 1.4% after it said the 2016 holiday was its "best-ever season" with more than one billion items shipped worldwide to its Prime members.

Consumer confidence rises
Indeed, US consumers are upbeat. A Conference Board report showed its consumer confidence index rose more than expected, climbing to 113.7 in December from an upwardly revised 109.4 last month.

"The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers," Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement.

"Consumers' assessment of current conditions, which declined, still suggests that economic growth continued through the final months of 2016," Franco said. "Looking ahead to 2017, consumers' continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realised."

Meanwhile, oil rose ahead of output cuts that will take effect on January 1, as agreed between Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-Opec producers.

"Some of the doubts [in Opec] people are showing are going to have to be put to rest," Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, told Reuters.

"There's a strong possibility that we're going to rally into the end of the year."

Both US and Brent crude added 1.7%.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a 0.2% gain from the previous close. France's CAC 40 Index and Germany's DAX Index each increased 0.2%.

UK markets were closed.


Margreet Dietz
Wed, 28 Dec 2016
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While you were sleeping: UPDATED Dow edges up but falls short of 20,000