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US: Stocks resume upward climb, close higher after Fed pause

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks resumed their upward climb to close higher Thursday, with banking shares rising steeply in the wake of the Federal Reserve decision to raise interest rates.

The Fed's announcement Wednesday provoked the biggest drop in the market since the November 8 US elections. But investors were back in rally mode after absorbing the rate hike, as well as the rise in the dollar that could pose challenges to multinationals.

"We are back in a place where we are all expecting an environment that is pro-growth, pro-business, less regulation," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.3 per cent to end at 19,852.24.

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The broad-based S&P 500 closed 0.4 per cent higher at 2,262.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 5,456.85.

Financial shares led other sectors, with JPMorgan Chase winning 1.5 per cent, Bank of America 2.2 per cent and Citigroup 1.3 per cent.

Yahoo slumped 6.1 per cent on worries its latest massive data breach could derail an acquisition by Verizon of its operating assets for US$4.8 billion. Verizon rose 0.4 per cent.

Yahoo disclosed on Wednesday that personal info from over a billion users was stolen in a hack dating back to 2013.

Facebook gained 0.3 per cent after unveiling a tool to root out fake news, misinformation that some claim influenced the 2016 election. Facebook said it would begin testing a system enabling users to click on news items if they suspect they are fabricated.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox dipped 0.7 per cent after reaching a deal to take control of pan-European pay-TV giant Sky for US$14.8 billion in cash.

Food giant Mondelez International jumped 4.4 per cent following a report it could be acquired by Kraft Heinz. A note from Morgan Stanley said such a transaction was "logical." Kraft Heinz advanced 1.2 per cent.

AFP

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