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US: Dow, S&P 500 gain on US-Canada trade deal

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished mostly positive on Monday after the United States sealed a trade deal with Canada to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 per cent to 26,651.21.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.4 per cent to 2,924.59, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.1 per cent to 8,037.30.

After months of wrangling, Canada and the United States overcame their differences after both sides conceded some ground to reach a three-way deal with Mexico.

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The deal boosted market sentiment, which has taken a hit this year as US President Donald Trump has launched a number of attacks on international trade agreements.

"Some of the downside risk has probably been alleviated," said Matthew Miskin of John Hancock Investments.

But stocks finished well below their session highs, a nod to worries about higher oil prices, tightening US Federal Reserve monetary policy and data suggesting slowing growth.

"The market likes to see accelerating growth," Mr Miskin said. "It's a decent backdrop but not as positive as a month or so ago."

General Electric (GE) jumped 7.1 per cent after announcing it was replacing its chief executive with former Danaher chief H. Lawrence Culp in GE's latest move to try to reverse a two-year slide.

Tesla Motors surged 17.4 per cent after Elon Musk reached an agreement with regulators that will allow him to stay chief executive.

Automakers Fiat Chrysler and General Motors climbed 2.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent following the US-Canada trade agreement. Uncertainty about trading rules has been a major overhang of the auto industry.

Oil giants Chevron and ConocoPhillips won 1.8 per cent and 3.2 per cent after US oil prices finished at a four-year high.

AFP