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US: Nasdaq hits record high as Wall St rises with oil prices

[NEW YORK] Wall Street rose on Monday morning, with the Nasdaq hitting a record intraday high, helped by a jump in technology shares and as higher oil prices boosted energy stocks.

The S&P was less than one point away from its intraday record high, while the Dow also inched closer to its record. The three indexes have rallied since the US election as investors bet Donald Trump's policies would be market friendly.

Oil prices jumped 3.2 per cent to a near three-week high of US$48.30 per barrel amid hopes of the OPEC reaching an agreement to cut output. The dollar index's first drop in 11 days also helped.

The energy index dominated the gainers among the 11 major S&P sectors, rising 1.2 per cent. Chevron and Exxon rose 1.4 per cent each.

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The technology index rose 0.58 per cent, boosted by Amazon.com, Facebook and Microsoft. "Investors are playing out their beliefs, which in this case is that Trump is going to bring about tax cuts and policy changes that could result in a solid equity market," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey. "This rally could end anytime, but, for the moment, the enthusiasm is still there." At 9:39 am ET (1439 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 52.6 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 18,920.53. Its record intraday high stands at 18,934.05.

The S&P 500 was up 9.75 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 2,191.65. The index's record high is 2,193.81.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 28.86 points, or 0.54 per cent, at 5,350.37, easing slightly after a record of 5,359.56.

Tyson Foods was the biggest loser on the S&P, dropping nearly 16 per cent after the meat processor reported lower-than-expected profit and said its chief executive officer would step down.

LifeLock jumped 14.4 per cent to US$23.70 after Symantec said it would buy the identity theft protection services company for US$2.3 billion. Symantec was flat.

Headwaters rose 15.9 per cent to US$23.29 after Australia's Boral Ltd said it would buy the US construction and building products maker for US$1.8 billion.

Facebook rose 1.24 per cent to US$118.47 after announcing a US$6 billion share repurchase program.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,205 to 500. On the Nasdaq, 1,541 issues rose and 730 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 27 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 112 new highs and three new lows.

REUTERS

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