US stocks resume upward climb, close higher after Fed pause

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve, announces news about the Federal Reserve interest rate increase in New York, US, on Dec 14, 2016.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve, announces news about the Federal Reserve interest rate increase in New York, US, on Dec 14, 2016.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks resumed their upward climb to close higher Thursday (Dec 15), with banking shares rising steeply in the wake of the Federal Reserve decision to raise interest rates.

The Fed's announcement Wednesday (Dec 14) provoked the biggest drop in the market since the Nov 8 US elections. But investors were back in rally mode after absorbing the rate hike, as well as the rise in the dollar that could pose challenges to multinationals.

"We are back in a place where we are all expecting an environment that is pro-growth, pro-business, less regulation," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.3 percent to end at 19,852.24.

The broad-based S&P 500 closed 0.4 percent higher at 2,262.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 percent to 5,456.85.

Financial shares led other sectors, with JPMorgan Chase winning 1.5 percent, Bank of America 2.2 percent and Citigroup 1.3 percent.

Yahoo slumped 6.1 percent on worries its latest massive data breach could derail an acquisition by Verizon of its operating assets for $4.8 billion. Verizon rose 0.4 percent.

 

Yahoo disclosed on Wednesday that personal info from over a billion users was stolen in a hack dating back to 2013.

Facebook gained 0.3 percent after unveiling a tool to root out fake news, misinformation that some claim influenced the 2016 election. Facebook said it would begin testing a system enabling users to click on news items if they suspect they are fabricated.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox dipped 0.7 percent after reaching a deal to take control of pan-European pay-TV giant Sky for $14.8 billion in cash.

Food giant Mondelez International jumped 4.4 percent following a report it could be acquired by Kraft Heinz. A note from Morgan Stanley said such a transaction was "logical." Kraft Heinz advanced 1.2 percent.