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US: Stocks add to records on Trump 'hype'

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks added to records early Friday on optimism over President Donald Trump's promise of tax cuts, with petroleum-linked stocks gaining on higher oil prices.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 20,233.21, up 0.3 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 also climbed 0.3 per cent to 2,313.71, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2 per cent to 5,728.36.

Mr Trump sparked a rally Thursday that lifted all three major US stock indices to records by promising details on his much-anticipated tax-cut plan in two-three weeks.

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Analysts said the comments revived hopes of a pro-growth agenda from Washington that had seemingly taken a back-burner to controversial Trump trade and immigration stances in his early days in office.

"The market moved on hype more than substance, comforted by the notion that the hype will ultimately translate into pro-growth, legislative substance," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

Analysts also greeted news that Mr Trump had reaffirmed Washington's "One China" policy during a phone call with China President Xi Jinping.

Petroleum-linked stocks gained after an International Energy Agency report said most OPEC countries were complying with an agreement to cut production and boost oil prices.

Video game developer Activision Blizzard surged 14.5 per cent after announcing it raised its dividend and approved a new US$1 billion in share repurchases. Those moves followed better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings due to solid sales during the holiday season.

Sears Holding soared 30.5 per cent as it announced it planned cost cuts of at least US$1 billion annually. The retailer expects to close 150 stores during the first quarter.

AFP

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