Wall Street gains traction, closes higher on improved sentiment

  • Tech leads the way on the back of Google and Facebook.
  • CBOE Volatility Index drops more than 7%.
  • Oil recovery lifts energy shares.

Major equity indexes in the United States closed the day with gains on Thursday as investors stopped speculating on the potential impact of the tax bill on different sectors. "It's really going to be the last minute before you really know what's in that tax bill, but something will pass," Stephen Massocca, Senior Vice President at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco, told Reuters.

The CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street's fear gauge, fell more than 7% on the day. The risk sensitive-technology sector took advantage of the improved sentiment with Facebook and Google shares earning more than 1.5% on a daily basis. The S&P 500 Information Technology Sector (SPLRCT) finished the day 0.65% higher, becoming the top performing sub-index on Thursday.

In the meantime, after losing more than $2 in the last two days, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate staged a recovery today and closed the day 1.2% higher, lifting the S&P 500 Energy Sector (SPNY) to 505.47 points at the end of the day, where it was up 0.3%. The S&P 500 Financials Sector (SPSY) also added 0.3% on the day, bringing the total gains since the beginning of the year up to 20%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 70.55 points, or 0.29%, to 24,211.46, the S&P 500 rose 7.77 points, or 0.3%, to 2,636.98 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 37.32 points, or 0.55%, to 6,812.84.

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