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US: Stocks resume upward climb after tax cut passed


[NEW YORK] Energy and media shares were among the winners on Thursday as US stocks resumed their upwards climb following passage of the landmark US tax cut.

Stocks fell the previous two days as Congress approved the final version of the US$1.5 trillion tax cut bill, after hitting several new records in recent weeks in anticipation of the massive corporate tax cut.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.2 per cent at 24,782.29.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent to 2,684.57, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.1 per cent to 6,965.36.

Credit Suisse became the latest large bank to upgrade its stock market projections, lifting its 2018 forecast for the S&P 500 to 3,000 from the prior 2,875, citing higher earnings from the tax cut as one factor.

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Petroleum-linked shares were especially strong, with Dow member ExxonMobil winning 3.3 per cent, Apache 5.0 per cent and Devon Energy 2.7 per cent.

"The energy sector fell out of favour for a long time," said Tom Cahill of Ventura Wealth Management, adding that earnings should be boosted by higher oil prices.

Most large media shares also advanced. Comcast rose 3.6 per cent, Time Warner 2.6 per cent and Twenty-First Century Fox 2.5 per cent.

Bed, Bath and Beyond plunged 12.5 per cent after reporting that third-quarter comparable sales declined 0.3 per cent. Net income dropped 51.5 per cent to US$61.3 million.

Power company PG&E sank 13.0 per cent after announcing it would suspend its dividend because of the potential liability connected to California wildfires, which remain under investigation.


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