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Wall St. climbs with boost from healthcare, banks


By Sinead Carew

(Reuters) - Wall Street's major indexes extended the New Year rally to close at record levels on Tuesday on investor optimism ahead of quarterly earnings reports and hopes for easing tensions with

Defensive sectors - utilities, and - were out of favour, while bank were boosted by rising U.S. 10-year Treasury yields. Healthcare rose with the sector in focus on the second day of an industry conference.

The 500 and Nasdaq registered their sixth closing record highs in a row. The Dow also ended at record levels after it had snapped a 3-day run of closing highs in Monday's session.

Some investors were reassured that North and held their first talks in more than two years, which described as a good first step in solving the North's nuclear missile programme crisis. said it would not discuss weapons that were aimed only at the

"The diplomacy taking place between and might circumvent some type of military action. Anything that would de-risk the peninsula would be viewed favourably by investors," said Mark Luschini, at in

The <.DJI> rose 102.8 points, or 0.41 percent, to 25,385.8, the 500 <.SPX> gained 3.58 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,751.29 and the <.IXIC> added 6.19 points, or 0.09 percent, to 7,163.58.

Profits for 500 companies are expected to rise 11.8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an 8-percent increase a year earlier, according to I/B/E/S.

"There will be some noise there with tax adjustments, but the forward-looking comments ought to be pretty positive. Investors are buying into that," said Bucky Hellwig, at in Birmingham,

The financial sector <.SPSY> ended 0.8 percent higher after yields on the 10-year note hit a 10-month high after the said it will trim its purchases of bonds.

and <.SPLRCR> sectors ended 1 percent lower while the <.SPLRCL> sector fell 1.8 percent.

While investors are hopeful about global economic growth and tax-cut led gains for corporate earnings, they are anxious about whether the tax-overhaul could overheat inflation and lead to a sharper than expected rise in interest rates.

After a lukewarm December jobs report, signs of a pickup in inflation could come in the monthly consumer price report due on Friday, on the same day that big U.S. banks are set to kick off the fourth-quarter earnings season.

The healthcare sector <.SPXHC> closed 1 percent higher, boosted by a 1.6-percent rise in , a 5-percent gain in and a 8.3-percent jump in shares.

Chip dragged on the technology sector <.SPLRCT>, which fell 0.3 percent. fell 2.5 percent after said computers with older chips slowed noticeably after it released security patches.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.41-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.19-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The 500 posted 124 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the recorded 131 new highs and 24 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.77 billion shares, above the 6.3 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

(Additional reporting by in New York, Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by and Nick Zieminski)

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

First Published: Wed, January 10 2018. 03:06 IST