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US: Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq end at records as bank shares gain

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks jumped to fresh records Monday, boosted by bank shares that were lifted by expectations that the Federal Reserve will again increase interest rates this year.

All three major indices ended at records, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.4 per cent to 22,956.96.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to 2,557.64, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.3 per cent to 6,624.00.

Comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen over the weekend predicting inflation would soon rise were seen as further boosting the odds the Fed will raise interest rates in December.

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Bank of America gained 1.6 per cent and JPMorgan Chase 2.1 per cent, with expectations that higher interest rates will lift bank profits.

Apple was another big winner, advancing 1.8 per cent following favourable reports from analysts at KeyBanc and Pacific Crest.

Wall Street has notched numerous records over the last month on expectations of solid third-quarter corporate earnings and hopes that President Donald Trump will win passage of a tax cut plan.

Analysts also said investors were also encouraged by Chinese factory inflation data that offered further assurance about the world's second-biggest economy.

Catering and housekeeping company Aramark advanced 0.5 per cent on news it is acquiring hospitality procurement services provider Avendra for US$1.4 billion and linen rental company AmeriPride Services for US$1.0 billion.

Nordstrom tumbled 5.3 per cent after announcing it was suspending efforts to take the department store chain private until after the holiday shopping season.

AFP