Stocks attempt gains as year's end approaches, real estate leads

Doris Richards
December 29, 2017

NASDAQ measures a number of indices reflecting the reaction of USA's high tech markets and business environments on the country's political and economic developments which have an impact on high tech markets.

The e-mini futures markets finished mixed. Chesapeake Energy was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 index, climbing 16 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $4.04. The March E-mini S&P 500 Index settled at 2685.75, up 0.25 or +0.01%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 60 points, or 0.2%, to 24,834.

The S&P 500 is up about 20 per cent for the year, while the Dow has hit new closing records 71 times, the most since the index was created in 1896. According to CNBC, the Dow is on pace for a slightly higher close this week.

A rotation in to bank shares and energy names helped to prop up equity markets, but moves have been slight as investors have little incentive to make decisive bets on assets perceived as risky in the penultimate session of trade ahead of the New Year's holiday on Monday.

The rally is widely expected to extend into 2018, boosted by gains from a new law that lowers the tax burden on USA corporations.

Stocks historically tend to post a "Santa Claus" rally in the last week of December through the first two trading days of January.

Initial U.S. jobless claims, a tool to measure layoffs, were unchanged ( at 245,000 last week.

Nikkei 225 was down 0.56%. The market was supported by strength in the Automakers, technology and financial sectors.

Overseas, major European indexes traded mildly lower. The index was pressured by across the board selling with the materials sector posting the only gain.

There are no major US economic reports today.

"Clearly light volume, low volatility has been the flavor of the week, post holiday, and don't expect that to change going into the close tomorrow", Northey said.

Volume on USA exchanges was 4.26 billion shares, compared to the 6.6 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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