Wall Street records decisive gains on Thursday

  • Energy and financials lead gains.
  • Utilities continue to underperform.
  • US GDP expands more than 3% for the second quarter in a row.

Major equity indexes in the United States started the day on a high note as investors cheered yet another set of upbeat macroeconomic data from the United States. Although the Commerce Department's third estimate of GDP growth eased to 3.2% from its second estimate of 3.3%, it recorded the first consecutive quarterly expansion above 3% in nearly three years.

With the barrel of West Texas Intermediate refreshing its 10-day high above the $58 handle, the S&P 500 Energy Sector (SPNY) closed the day with a gain of 2.08%, becoming the best performing sub-index of the day while the S&P 500 Financials Sector (SPSY) added 0.85%. Commenting on today's market action, “there’s still the after-effects of tax reform being passed, I get the sense that the market is very optimistic about next year,” Michael Antonelli, managing director at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee, told Reuters.

On the other hand, the S&P 500 Utilities Sector (SPLRCU), which is expected benefit the least from the tax reform, lost 1.2% and recorded its fourth negative daily closing in a row.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 59.87 points, or 0.24%, to 24,786.52, the S&P 500 rose 5.81 points, or 0.22%, to 2,685.06. A 0.3% daily drop seen in the S&P 500 Information Technology Sector (SPLRCT) made it difficult for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite to post robust gains and the index finished the day 5.81 points, or 0.08%, higher at 6,966.77.

Today's data from the U.S.

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