Wall Street ends day with modest gains

  • Financials lead the gains on Thursday.
  • Copper rally lifts the material index.
  • The subdued trading action is likely to continue on the last day of the year.

After starting day slightly higher, major equity indexes in the U.S.gathered momentum and finished the day with modest gains boosted by a relatively strong performance of bank shares. Furthermore, the copper's rally continued, lifting the price of futures to the best level since February 2014 and boosting the material shares.

Both the S&P 500 Financials Sector and the S&P 500 Materials Sector both added 0.4% on the day. Meanwhile, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate's technical slide came to an end and its price rose towards the $60 mark after the EIA reported a larger-than-expected crude oil drawdown in the United States. The S&P 500 Energy Sector closed 0.1% higher. 

Commenting on the recent trading action on Wall Street, “this needs to and has been an earnings-driven market and that is where you’ve seen a tremendous amount of the earnings momentum and visibility, we would expect that to continue into next year. Volumes remained thin due to the holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The prior two sessions showed the lowest full-day trading volumes of the year.” Bill Northey, senior vice president, U.S. Bank Wealth Management, in Helena, Montana, told Reuters.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 56.68 points, or 0.23%, to 24,830.98, the S&P 500 rose 4.35 points, or 0.16%, to 2,686.97 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 9.43 points, or 0.14%, to 6,948.76.

Today's data from the U.S.

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