Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
New York, NY, United States (4E) – U.S. stocks on the first trading day of the new year (Jan. 2) picked-up where they left off at the end of 2017, posting intraday and closing records while setting the stage for another strong year for equities.
For the first time, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index closed above 7,000 points following a rally in technology shares. The closing bell saw the index jump 1.5 percent to end the its first trading day of the year at 7,006.90.
The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to close at 2,695.79, setting new intraday and closing records. Consumer discretionary, energy materials and tech all rose by over one percent.
On the other hand, the Dow Jones industrial average increased 104.79 points to finish at 24,824.01, about 13 points below its all-time record.
“This is basically an extension of what we saw in 2017,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. “With economic data being strong, investors are betting that economic growth will translate into strong earnings growth.”
Equities had a great year in 2017 that saw all the three major indices posting all-time highs. Nasdaq rocketed upwards by 28.2 percent; the Dow soared by 25.1 percent while the S&P 500 jumped 19.4 percent.
In 2017, stocks got a boost from strong growth in corporate earnings, good economic data and expectations of lower corporate taxes. The market’s upward rush was led by technology companies.
The upbeat start to 2018 suggested a continuation of the nine-year old bull run but is again fueling fears of a correction this year.
In 2017, Apple, Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet all rose close to two per cent while Netflix jumped 4.8 percent. Media shares also saw strong growth with Disney soaring 3.7 percent; Comcast 3 percent and Viacom 1.2 per cent.
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