Nasdaq hits 9,000 for first time as year-end rally rolls on

Nasdaq hits 9,000 for first time as year-end rally rolls on

Gains in technology shares sent the Nasdaq Composite Index above 9,000 for the first time. These indexes also closed at record highs.

Three major averages all hit new all-time highs during the session. Meantime, the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial index closed at 28,621, up 0.4% on the day.

Robust U.S. economic data, relatively loose monetary policy and hopes of an imminent trade truce between Beijing and Washington have sent U.S. stock indexes to multiple record highs this month.

Shares of Amazon Inc rose 1.4%, after having risen about 4% on Thursday after a report showed USA shoppers spent more online during the holiday shopping season than in 2018. That would mark its biggest gain since 2013. A report from Mastercard SpendingPulse showed holiday retail sales rose 3.4%, with online shopping rising 18.8%. Trading volume was lighter than usual as USA markets reopened after the Christmas holiday.

About 4.5 billion shares changed hands in USA exchanges, well below the 6.8 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

Oil prices lost five cents to $61.63 USA a barrel.

Consumer discretionary shares in the S&P 500 added 0.5%. Stock indexes across the European continent posted gentle gains after a mixed session in Asia. The U.S. presidential election could also drive volatility in the markets next year. American Airlines Group was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, shedding 0.8%.

The last five days of December and the first two in the new year have historically been a positive period for the market. Macy's rose 1.8% and Nordstrom added 1.2%. Amazon's stock increased after revealing it had the best holiday season on record. The consumer foods company rose 1.5%. Brent crude, used to price global oils, advanced 9 cents to $66.85 per barrel in London.

Gold prices acquired $3.10 at $1,517.50 ounce.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 15 cents to $61.83 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.4% to 6,821.70 and India's Sensex advanced 0.8% to 41,507.97.

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