How major U.S. stock indexes fared Monday

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the last day of the trading year

Wall Street rose solidly in relatively light trading on Monday as revelers gathered to ring in 2019, marking the end of the worst year for major US indexes in a decade.

Following solid gains throughout the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 265.06 points, or 1.15 percent, to 23327.46 on Monday. The S&P 500 ended up 0.85 percent, the Nasdaq closed 0.77 percent higher and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 1.15 percent for the day on Monday, a nice improvement considering the low volume of the pre-holiday trading day.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.8 per cent to end at 6,635.28 a decline of 3.9 per cent for 2018. "Large-cap pharma names being up a minimum of 20 percent over less than six months is fairly unprecedented", while some large biotechnology companies are trading near record-low valuations, he said. The S&P 600 closed at 844.94 for a gain of 4.73 points or 0.56%.

The S&P 500 rose 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,494.

"The fact of the matter is that there were Trump headlines over the weekend which pushed stocks higher initially, but such moves certainly don't last for very long in a market like this", said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

For the year, stocks turned in the worst performance since 2008.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 10.64 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 1,348.56.

A Christmas Eve plunge brought it briefly into bear market territory, or a drop of 20 percent from its peak, before closing just short of the threshold that would have meant the end of the market's almost 10-year bull market run.

Yet investors have restored some confidence in the continuously volatile USA equity market on Monday amid signs of global trade tensions' defuse and anticipation of upcoming remarks from US Federal Reserves' Chairman Jeremy Powell next year.

Healthcare and tariff-sensitive technology stocks, led by Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc, provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 yesterday. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.42-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.81-to-1 ratio favoured advancers. Companies in the S&P 500 Pharmaceuticals Index drew higher valuations from investors as the year went on, but for the broader S&P 500, the reverse was true. "Big progress being made!"

On Monday, benchmark US crude oil inched up 0.2 percent to settle at $45.41 a barrel in NY. Brent crude, the benchmark for worldwide prices, gained 84 cents to $54.05 per barrel. Meanwhile, the official Xinhua News Agency cited a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that "China stands ready to work with the United States to move forward the China-U.S. ties which are underpinned by coordination, cooperation and stability".

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.69 yen from 110.41 yen on Friday. The euro was flat at $1.1433.

In the new year, investors hope for the removal of question marks that acted as significant headwinds in 2018, including U.S.



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