January 24, 2018, 3:50 am
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Wall St index ends higher with help from tech, energy

NEW YORK- Wall Street indexes closed higher on Monday and the biggest drivers were technology and energy sectors as oil prices rose and investors waited for an expected US Federal Reserve rate hike later in the week.

Technology stocks were back in favor with the biggest boost from Apple Inc as investors eyed a continuation of strong fundamentals in the sector.

“Investors are a little exhausted from the rise of the market and making sector moves,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey. “They’re not willing to commit a whole lot of new money at these levels but they’re rotating a bit. Some of it is year-end tax planning.”

Traders, waiting for the Fed’s two-day rate setting meeting to begin on Tuesday, see an 85-percent probability for a 25 basis point hike to the Fed funds rate target and a 15-percent chance of a 50 basis point hike, which would be the third rate hike this year, according to CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.

“Valuations are getting to the point where even good news on the economy might pose some additional risks to the market. There’s the risk that good news for the economy may be bad news for markets because the Fed is at the cusp of a level of tightening that could dampen growth,” said Mark Heppenstall, CIO at Penn Mutual Asset Management in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.87 points, or 0.23 percent, to 24,386.03, the S&P 500 gained 8.49 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,659.99 and the Nasdaq Composite added 35.00 points, or 0.51 percent, to 6,875.08.

Most of the 11 major S&P sectors ended higher, with the biggest boost from a 0.8 percent gain in information technology stocks. The S&P energy index rose 0.71 percent as oil prices rose after a North Sea pipeline shut for repairs.  – Reuters 
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