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US: Dow, S&P, Nasdaq finish at records as government shutdown ends


[WASHINGTON] US lawmakers broke their deadlock to end the three-day government shutdown and send Wall Street to fresh records on Monday as all three major stock indices reached new all-time highs.

With the government set to reopen, investor enthusiasm again rose to the fore at the start of a week full of major corporate earnings reports.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6 per cent to close the session at 26,214.60.

The broader S&P 500 jumped 0.8 per cent to land at 2,832.97, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq sailed nearly a full percentage point higher to settle at 7,408.03.

Lawmakers in Washington on Monday afternoon reached a deal to reopen the US government, less than 72 hours after federal spending authority expired at midnight Friday, forcing hundreds of thousands of government employees to stay home.

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"The market collectively breathed a sigh of relief as the government shutdown is over and it did not get dragged out or disrupt normal Main Street or Wall Street activities," said Adam Sarhan of 50 Park Investments.

Sarhan said corporate profits again are the central focus of investors, and 68 percent of companies that have reported so far have beaten Wall Street's estimates.

"Until we have more clarity in respect of what is going to happen on the earnings front in 2018, the bulls deserve the benefit of the doubt," he told AFP. "The market refuses to fall, even in these extended circumstances."

The major companies due to report this week include Procter & Gamble, American Airlines, Ford and Caterpillar.

Struggling industrial behemoth General Electric, which also is due to post quarterly earnings, fell another 0.6 per cent Monday - briefly sinking below US$16 per share - after a downgrade of its stock by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Biotech company Celgene erased early losses, rising 0.3 per cent after announcing it would buy bio-pharmaceutical firm Juno Therapeutics for US$9 billion, or US$87 per share. Juno jumped 27 per cent on the news.


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