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Wall Street's main indexes rose sharply on Thursday boosted by earnings-related gains in Wal-Mart and Cisco, while a tax bill expected to boost corporate earnings passed its first, if smallest, hurdle.
Cisco shares closed up 5.2 percent at $35.88.
"There was good news on old line companies Cisco and Walmart adapting to the new economy," said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago, citing reasons for the market's advance.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted largely along party lines to pass a tax overhaul expected to be a boost to stock prices if it becomes law, but the legislative battle now shifts to the Senate, where the Republican majority is much slimmer.
Republicans can lose no more than two Senate votes and at least two GOP senators have already spoken against the Senate version of the bill.
"The tax plan isn't a foregone conclusion but it passed the lowest hurdle in the House," Battle said, adding that the Senate vote will be a higher bar and "the reconciliation will be the real measure, if it happens."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 187.08 points, or 0.8 percent, to 23,458.36, the S&P 500 gained 21.02 points, or 0.82 percent, to 2,585.64 and the Nasdaq Composite added 87.08 points, or 1.3 percent, to 6,793.29.
The S&P and the Dow posted their largest daily percentage gains in more than two months.
The CBOE Volatility index, the cost of protection against a sudden drop on the S&P 500, posted its first decline in six days. It dropped 1.4 points to end at 11.76.
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Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.01-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.26-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 42 new 52-week highs and four new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 115 new highs and 36 new lows.
About 6.31 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.81 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions. It was among the weakest volume sessions in the past three weeks.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)