Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq all end at records, oil shares gain

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NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks narrowly finished at records on Wednesday (Sept 13) after a bullish oil market forecast pushed petroleum-linked equities sharply higher.

For the second day in a row, all three major indices ended at new peaks, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.2 per cent to 22,158.18.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.1 per cent to 2,498.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.1 per cent to 6,460.19.

Energy producers and suppliers were boosted after the International Energy Agency lifted its 2017 forecast for oil demand and reported that global petroleum stocks had worked off much of their overhang.

Chevron led the blue-chip Dow index with a 1.5 percent gain, while Apache climbed 4.5 per cent and Devon Energy jumped 4.2 per cent.

Retailers were another strong sector following news that big-box chain Target plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers ahead of the Christmas shopping season. Target won 2.8 per cent, while Best Buy added 3.2 per cent and Costco Wholesale 1.8 per cent.

US stocks opened lower in a move attributed to profit taking following gains the previous sessions. But investor sentiment remains modestly bullish based on expectations for solid economic data and corporate earnings, analysts said.

Boeing gained 0.6 per cent after announcing it will boost production of its 787 Dreamliner to 14 a month in 2019 from 12 now, a sign of strong demand for the energy-efficient jet.

American Airlines rose 1.5 per cent after reporting a solid financial performance through the end of August. However, the carrier warned that its performance for the fourth quarter would be pinched by Hurricane Irma, which closed its Miami hub and some 40 airports in Florida and the Caribbean.

Nordstrom rose 6 per cent following a report on business network CNBC that the department store chain was in talks with a private equity firm on financing to go private.

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