Stocks post modest gains after another late afternoon push higher

Stocks post modest gains after another late afternoon push higher

Stocks post modest gains after another late afternoon push higher

Stocks eked out tiny gains Wednesday as oil prices continued to recover and investors hoped that the worst may be over for the beleaguered energy industry. And even though stocks have fallen sharply from record highs, valuations remain elevated compared with long-run averages.

USA stocks moved higher Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average topping the psychologically significant 17,000 level for the first time since January, as investors digested a surprise pop in US job creation last month that bolsters arguments for increased borrowing rates before the end of the year.

Wall Street surged on Tuesday, led by financial and technology stocks, after encouraging USA factory and construction data suggested the economy was regaining momentum after slowing in the fourth quarter.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 6.94 (0.35 percent) to 1,993.39, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 4.00 (0.09 percent) at 4,707.42.

The Dow gained 366.80 points, or 2.2 per cent. A report on private-sector hiring that was stronger than economists had expected did not give the market a substantial boost.

The Dow Jones Industrial advanced 44.58 points (0.26 percent) to 16,843.90.

"You can't hide economic activity from transport stocks", said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. On the other hand, a number below 150,000 could revive some fears about the strength of the U.S. economy, he added. Agribusiness giant Monsanto dropped 5 percent after cutting its outlook, and spirits maker Brown-Forman, whose brands include Jack Daniels, fell 4 percent after cutting its forecast. The central bank meets next on March 15-16.

The bond market retreated, the yield on ten-year Treasury amount to 1.864% against 1.828% Wednesday night, and that good for 30 years at 2.708% against 2.697% previously.

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