Wall Street pushes higher in bid to extend rally

Published: December 29, 2018 11:32:27 | Updated: January 01, 2019 14:30:13

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US stocks pushed higher in a choppy session on Friday following a wild week of trading that has seen equities rebound from a prolonged slide.

Major indexes moved in and out of positive territory during the day, action that was emblematic of recent volatility though lacking the huge swings of the past week.

Thursday’s trading was marked by a stunning reversal late in the session to build on a rally that started on Wednesday with the biggest single-day percentage gains for the indexes in nearly a decade.

The week started off with Wall Street’s worst-ever Christmas Eve drop, pushing the S&P 500 to within a whisker of bear market territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 137.97 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 23,276.79, the S&P 500 gained 18.35 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 2,507.18.

The Nasdaq Composite added 56.19 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 6,635.68, reports Reuters.

The S&P 500 was coming off its biggest two-day percentage gain since late August 2015 when the market was in the midst of a downturn over a slowing China.

The benchmark index was set to post a weekly gain for the first time this month.

Even so, the S&P 500 was on track to drop more than 9.0 per cent in December, its biggest monthly percentage decline since February 2009, during the throes of the financial crisis.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.61-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, a 2.73-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded five new highs and 71 new lows.

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