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US: Stocks end at record highs, extending 'Trump effect' rally


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks sprinted to another day of fresh records Monday, extending last week's rally on expectations President Donald Trump will soon present his promised tax cut plan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.7 per cent to close the day at 20,412.16.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent to end 2,328.25, as did the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index up 0.5 per cent to 5,763.96.

It was the third straight session that all three major indices ended at all-time highs following Mr Trump's comments Thursday that he plans to release details about a "phenomenal" tax cut plan in the next two to three weeks.

"It's just a carry over from last week," said Bill Lynch, director of investment at Hinsdale Associates.

"The market seems to be giving Trump the benefit of the doubt."

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, said, "I am getting a sense of a party atmosphere and investors just do not want to be left out."

Among the winners, several banks climbed on expectations that Mr Trump will ease regulations imposed after the 2008 financial crisis. JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup all rose more than one per cent.

Technology shares with larger gains included Amazon, up 1.1 per cent, and Tesla Motors, up 4.2 per cent. Apple climbed 0.9 per cent to finish at an all-time closing high of US$133.29.

But mobile phone companies were on the downswing after Verizon said it would sell unlimited data packages, a sign of rising competition among providers. Verizon lost 0.9 per cent, AT&T fell 1.8 per cent and T-Mobile US dropped 2.4 per cent.

Zeltiq Aesthetics, a maker of body sculpting technology that essentially freezes away fat, surged 13.2 per cent after agreeing to be acquired by Allergan for US$2.5 billion. Allergan rose 0.2 per cent.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries rose 5.6 per cent after reporting a fourth-quarter loss of US$973 million due to the write down of assets from a recent acquisition. Despite the loss, analysts said they were reassured by the generic drug maker's confirmation of its earnings outlook.


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