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US: Gains in bank shares lift Dow, S&P 500


[NEW YORK] Banking shares were big winners Wednesday, helping to lift the Dow and S&P 500 amid lingering uncertainty over key US trade conflicts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.6 per cent at 26,405.76.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.1 per cent to 2,907.95, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.1 per cent to 7,950.04.

Banking shares such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase rose about three percent as the 10-year US Treasury bond rose further above 3.0 per cent.

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Analysts said the banking sector, which has underperformed other sectors, was benefitting from a reallocation of funds from technology and other sectors that have performed better.

As top US and Canadian trade officials met again in Washington, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "more work" was needed before a trade deal is reached with the United States, brushing off US pressure for a quick deal.

China called for US President Donald Trump to show China "respect" a day after both countries announced new tariffs on each other. Stocks rose Tuesday after the announcement at relief the tariffs were not harsher.

"We know that the (tariffs) are not going to hurt because orders for Christmas goods have already been delivered," said Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Financial Services.

Petroleum-linked stocks rose following a bullish US oil inventory report, with Chevron rising 1.2 per cent and Halliburton 2.3 per cent.

Tesla Motors jumped 4.9 per cent, more than making up for 3.4 per cent it lost Tuesday following reports the company faces a criminal probe in connection with chief executive Elon Musk's aborted effort to take the company private.

Medical cannabis company Tilray finished up 38 per cent after a wild session in which it veered between negative territory and nearly doubling. Trading was briefly halted five times because of volatility.