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Wall Street surges to all-time highs led by energy and technology

  • CBOE Volatility Index drops 8%.
  • Financials recover Tuesday's losses.
  • Fed expects tax cuts to boost consumer spending.

Major equity indexes in the United States advanced to fresh record peaks on Wednesday as the investors' sentiment remained positive following the upbeat macroeconomic data from the U.S. and a relatively hawkish FOMC December meeting minutes.

Although the Fed's meeting minutes revealed that policymakers were worried over the possibility of the economy overheating on easy financial market conditions and fiscal stimulus, they preserved their cautious stance by reiterating that their future rate hike decisions would depend on the inflation data.

Commenting on the statement, “it emphasizes the message they’ve had out there, that they’ll be data dependent and that they want to try to normalize policy unless there’s an economic slowdown or inflation doesn’t act as expected. It was at least interesting that they tipped their hats to the tax cuts,” Sameer Samana, global equity and technical strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis, told Reuters.

The S&P 500 Energy Sector (SPNY) gained another 1.5% on Wednesday as the barrel of West Texas Intermediate broke above the $61 mark to refresh its highest level since 2015. Boosted by the robust gains seen in Alphabet (Google) and IBM shares, the S&P 500 Information Technology Sector (SPLRCT) added more than 1% for the second day in a row.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Financials Sector (SPSY), which recorded modest losses on Tuesday, staged a recovery and close the day 0.5% higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 90.84, points, or 0.37%, to 24,914.85, the S&P 500  rose 16.20, or 0.6%, to 2,712.01 and the Nasdaq Composite added 56.78 points, or 0.8%, at 7,063.68.


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