US stocks kick off 2018 with strong gains

   •  Stocks extend last year's strong run.
   •  Strong commodity prices and weaker USD support. 

US equity markets kicked-off the New Year on solid footing and reversed declines posted on the last trading session of 2017.

A strong rally in commodity space, boosted by a slumping US Dollar, pointed to growing investors’ appetite for riskier assets – like equities. A weaker greenback was also seen as a boon to multinational companies and remained supportive of the early strong gains.

Meanwhile, the market seems to have largely shrugged off the latest geopolitical concerns, wherein the Iranian unrest is not expected to reach a full-blown political situation, at least for now.

Even before the jolt of pro-business tax reform and despite stretched valuations, optimism over the US equity markets has been rising, with some analysts now anticipating the strong bullish run-up to continue in 2018.

During the opening hour of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up over 120-points to 24842, while the broader S&P 500 Index added around 14-points to 2,687. Meanwhile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed nearly 45-points and was placed at 6,948.

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