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US: Stocks end higher boosted by oil, bank shares


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks rose Wednesday, with energy shares boosted by higher oil prices and banking shares advancing on expectations of increased interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 per cent to close at 24,542.54.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.0 per cent to 2,697.79, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.0 per cent to 7,339.91.

Petroleum-linked shares enjoyed a strong session after President Donald Trump's decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal lifted shares of Dow members ExxonMobil, Chevron and other companies across the sector.

"A lot of investors have been underweight on energy and now see some stability on that sector," said Nate Thooft, senior managing director at Manulife Asset Management.

Large banks such as Goldman Sachs and Bank of America gained 2.0 per cent or more as the yield on the 10-year US Treasury again rose to 3.0 per cent, raising expectations for higher interest rates that would boost bank earnings.

But Walmart slumped 3.1 per cent after announcing it was buying a 77 per cent stake in Indian online sales giant Flipkart for US$16 billion. S&P shifted its outlook on the retail giant to "negative," citing its increased spending to boost its online and global businesses.

In earnings news, Disney shed 1.8 per cent after reporting a 23 per cent jump in second-quarter profits to US$2.9 billion, boosted in part by the success of the "Black Panther" movie.

The entertainment giant faces the prospect of a possible bidding war over assets belonging to 21st Century Fox following reports Comcast is readying a bid.


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