US Shares Climb to Records as Energy Stocks Lead Market Higher

Andrew Cummings
March 2, 2017

US equity markets closed higher on Friday as investors had a mixed reaction to reports that Trump's tax reform plan and other economic policy plans may be delayed until August. The S&P 500 rose 1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.9 percent, following gains in Asia and Europe.

The moderate declines Tuesday came a day after the Dow Jones industrial average marked its 12th consecutive record closing high, its longest winning streak in 30 years. TRUMP SPEECH: In his speech, Trump struck a less confrontational tone than usual and steered away from dramatically negative descriptions of the state of the USA economy.

To continue moving higher, Wall Street will need more clarity on timing and detail for tax-policy overhaul, infrastructure spending, and efforts to lessen burdensome regulations, said David Joy, chief economist at Ameriprise Financial.

The Dow fell 19 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,816.

The address at 9pm Tuesday EDT (1300 Wednesday AEDT) could touch on tax reforms, defence spending and his plans to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system. Recently, Kaplan revealed that the Fed should leave its options open to a rate hike in March.

The tiny gains came after an indecisive day for US stocks that sent indexes wavering between small gains and losses.

BAD MEDICINE: Perrigo slumped 11.4 percent after investors reacted to several disclosures by the Irish drugmaker, including disappointing guidance for 2017 and the company's decision to sell its royalty rights to a multiple sclerosis drug for as much as $2.85 billion.

TRAVEL BUZZ: Shares in Priceline climbed 5.8 percent after the online booking company posted strong quarterly earnings.

Crude oil prices were flat at about $54 a barrel. The sector is up 8.3 percent this year. Natural gas futures were down 10 cents, or 3.6 percent, at $2.69 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Data showed United States manufacturing expanded last month at the fastest pace in three years, while German inflation accelerated above 2 per cent for the first time since 2012, adding to signs of momentum in Europe's largest economy.

The dollar also rose on the Fed's remarks, with the AMEX Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, jumping about 0.5%.

According to the Commerce Department, the USA real gross domestic product over the past year has increased 1.9% during the last quarter but missed market consensus estimates of 2.1%.

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