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US stocks rise again, lifting Dow to fresh record

NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks finished higher on Dec 14, lifting the Dow to a fresh record, following solid US retail sales and central bank moves to hold interest rates steady.

Equities overcame a mid-session swoon, pushing higher again as the 10-year US Treasury yield fell below four percent for the first time since August.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 37,248.35, up 0.4 per cent, its second straight record close.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to 4,719.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2 per cent to 14,761.56.

Stocks continued to cheer the Federal Reserve’s policy decision on Dec 14, which included a forecast for interest rate cuts in 2024.

Mr Steve Sosnick, of Interactive Brokers, questioned whether the Fed’s pivot reflects increased worries of a recession.

But Mr Adam Sarhan, of 50 Park Investments, offered a more optimistic outlook, saying, “it appears, at least for now, that the Fed has won its fight against inflation and the market is cheering that victory.”

Retail sales in the United States rose unexpectedly in November, with consumer spending holding up despite higher interest rates.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank and Bank of England both kept interest rates unchanged, following the US Federal Reserve’s move on Dec 14 to hold rates steady also while inflation recedes.

Among individual companies, Adobe dropped 6.4 per cent after projecting lower than expected revenues next year.

But Moderna surged 9.3 per cent as the company’s chief executive, Mr Stephane Bancel, said an experimental vaccine against melanoma could be available in as little as two years. The statement helped allay worries the pharma company was a “one-hit wonder” after its Covid-19 vaccine success. AFP

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