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US: Stocks gain at open, oil shares strong

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[NEW YORK] Petroleum-linked shares rose on higher oil prices in opening trading Friday, lifting other stocks as the Dow returned to within striking distance of 20,000 points.

Investors followed the trend set Thursday, when the market returned to buying mode after falling Wednesday on the Federal Reserve's decision to hike interest rates.

"The fact that the stock market didn't cool down on Thursday is precisely why things heated up, as it fostered yet another trade of commission by those afraid of being omitted from further market gains," said analyst Patrick O'Hare.

Five minutes into trading on the final day of the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 19,905.45, up 0.3 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to 2,267.60, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.3 per cent at 5,472.59.


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