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US: Stocks gain again with banks leading

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US stocks opened higher on Wednesday morning ahead of the latest Federal Reserve's minutes, which will offer investors clues on future interest rake hikes this year.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks finished higher for the fourth straight session Tuesday, with banking shares leading the way.

Large US banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, advanced more than one per cent.

The latest gains mean the major US stock indices are back to near their levels prior to a tumble on May 17 sparked by worries over President Donald Trump's agenda following a series of missteps and controversies. With Mr Trump out of the country and amid solid economic data, those fears have receded.

"The market looks inclined to keep squeezing higher in the wake of the 1.8 per cent decline it suffered last Wednesday," said analyst Patrick O'Hare.

Market voices on:

"That loss has almost been recovered . . . as the patented buy-the-dip trade has prevailed once again." The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.2 per cent to end the session at 20,937.91.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to finish at 2,398.42, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.1 per cent to 6,138.71.

Agribusiness firm Bunge surged 16.6 per cent after Swiss commodities giant Glencore confirmed that it approached the US company about a possible combination.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals plunged 9.3 per cent after announcing several executive departures, including chief financial officer David Anderson after less than six months.

AutoZone, which sells replacement auto parts, slumped 11.8 per cent after reporting third-quarter same stores sales declined 0.8 per cent and earnings and revenues missed analyst expectations.