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Big gains at Wall Street

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Top-weighted led Friday's rally

US stocks ended higher on Friday, 05 January 2018. All three main equity benchmarks posted record gains on Friday to end the first week of 2018 on a stellar footing, marked by four straight positive session, following lackluster jobs data.

The rose 220.74 points, or 0.9%, to 25,295.87. The index closed up 19.16 points, or 0.7%, at 2,743.15. The Index gained 58.64 points to 7,136.56, a gain of 0.8%.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.3%, the gained 2.6%, while the Nasdaq is up 3.4%.

The gains over the week have been buoyed by the recently passed corporate tax-cut package, rising commodity prices, and robust corporate earnings. Solid economic data and low bond yields have also been cited as contributing factors.

The top-weighted led Friday's rally, moving into the top spot on the 2018 leaderboard. Within the group, Microsoft, Alphabet, and hit new all-time highs, adding between 1.2% and 1.4%. climbed 1.1%.

The health care, consumer discretionary, and materials sectors also had solid showings.

The jobs report on Friday revealed that the U.S. added 148,000 workers in December, the slowest pace in three months, and it included a tepid wage-growth reading, which could gold some gold investors interpreted as possibly slowing interest-rate increases for the Federal Reserve in 2018. The unemployed rate, however, held at 4.1%.

Separate data Friday showed the Institute for Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index sank 1.5 points to 55.9% in December. A reading of 50 or better indicates improving activity.

The ICE Index edged up 0.1%, though poised for a weekly decline of roughly 0.2% after losing 9.9% in 2017. Expectations of higher U.S. interest rates later this year, plus the passage of the Republican tax bill have failed to give the dollar a lift, helping gold. A weaker dollar tends to provide a boost to dollar-pegged commodities, including gold, making them more attractive to users of weaker monetary units.

settled lower on Friday, 05 January 2018 losing a grip on the highest levels in three years, but prices still scored a third weekly gain a row on the back of a seventh-straight drop in U.S. crude supplies and ongoing concerns over unrest in

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, February Intermediate crude fell 57 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $61.41 a barrel. Prices, which settled at a roughly three-year high of $62.01 on Thursday, still saw a weekly gain of 1.7%. They had climbed in each of the last two weeks.

March Brent crude, the global benchmark, settled down 45 cents, or 0.7%, at $67.62 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, after a finish at $68.07 on Thursday, the highest since December 2014. It was up about 1.1% for the week.

Bullion metals ended higher at Comex on Friday, 05 January 2017. Gold futures logged an 11th day of gains on Fridaythe longest stretch of consecutive session gains on record. The precious started the day on shaky ground with some caution emerging among investors after the hit 10-straight sessions of gains on Thursday, which was its longest run in more than six years. The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, was initially higher, was pushed lower by the employment report, then bounced back.

February gold rose 70 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,322.30 an ounce. March silver rose 0.1% to $17.285 an ounce, up about 0.8% from a week ago.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries sold off on Friday, pushing yields higher across the curve. The yield on the 10-yr Treasury note jumped to 2.48% after finishing Thursday at 2.45% while the 2-yr yield jumped one basis point to 1.96%.

On Monday, investors will receive just one economic report--November Consumer Credit (consensus $18.0 billion)--which will be released at 3:00 PM ET.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 10:57 IST