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US: Stocks end at records for 2nd day on Trump tax cut promise

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks pushed to fresh records Friday, again rallying off comments from President Donald Trump signalling imminent action on tax cuts.

All three major indices finished at new highs for the second straight day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average winning 0.5 per cent to end at 20,269.37.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent at 2,316.10, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.3 per cent to 5,734.13.

Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Capital Markets, attributed the gains directly to Mr Trump's statement Thursday that he would release details of a "phenomenal" tax-cut plan in two to three weeks - a statement he echoed on Friday.

"Yet again we see the magic of (Trump's) words," Mr Volokhine said.

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"All the market needs to set new records is to put the word 'phenomenal' next to taxes."

Petroleum-linked shares advanced on higher oil prices, with Schlumberger rising 1.2 per cent, Devon Energy 1.5 per cent and ExxonMobil 0.8 per cent.

Ford rose 1.1 per cent after announcing it would invest US$1 billion in an artificial intelligence startup Argo AI, part of a goal of releasing an autonomous vehicle for commercial use by 2021.

Video game developer Activision Blizzard surged 18.9 per cent after announcing it raised its dividend and approved a new US$1 billion in share repurchases. Those moves followed better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings due to solid sales during the holiday season.

Electronic Arts, another video game developer, rose 3.5 per cent.

Sears Holding soared 25.6 per cent as it announced it planned cost cuts of at least US$1 billion annually. The retailer expects to close 150 stores during the first quarter.

Online ratings and listings company Yelp plummeted 13.6 per cent due to disappointment over its revenue and operating profit forecast.


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