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US: Stocks gain across sectors ahead of Trump inauguration

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[NEW YORK] US stocks rose amid gains across sectors on Friday as investors counted down to Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

Trump, a New York businessman and former reality TV star, is scheduled to be sworn in around midday by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in Washington.

Investors will focus on Trump's inaugural speech to get more insight into his economic policies. "All eyes will be on the content and style of Trump's inauguration speech," Morgan Stanley strategists led by Hans Redeker wrote in a note. "The more 'Presidential' this speech comes across, the better the outcome for markets." Trump's campaign promises of tax and regulatory reforms and higher infrastructure spending had driven Wall Street to multiple highs post-election.

However, the Trump trade has been unraveling in recent weeks as investors wait to see how he will carry out his ambitious plans. "I would expect an extremely calm day," said Brad Lamensdorf, chief executive officer of Active Alts Inc. "Usually these type of events are highly publicized so people are very distracted during the day and I wouldn't expect a lot of volatility." The CBOE Volatility index, or Wall Street "fear gauge", was down nearly 3 per cent.

The dollar index edged up for the third straight session, while a 2 per cent rise in oil prices pushed up energy stocks.

At 9:36 a.m. ET (1436 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 109.18 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 19,841.58 and the S&P 500 was up 12.86 points, or 0.57 per cent, at 2,276.55.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 33.45 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 5,573.53.


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