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U.S. stocks traded higher amid volatility to ring in 2019
Last Updated: 2019-01-03 09:50 | Xinhua
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Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, on Jan. 2, 2019. U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday, starting a new year with a fluctuant trading day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 18.78 points, or 0.08 percent, higher to 23,346.24. The S&P 500 edged 3.18 points, or 0.13 percent, higher to 2,510.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 30.66 points, or 0.46 percent, to 6,665.94. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday, starting a new year with a fluctuant trading day, as gains in tech and energy stocks eased concerns over global economic slowdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 18.78 points, or 0.08 percent, higher to 23,346.24. The S&P 500 edged 3.18 points, or 0.13 percent, higher to 2,510.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 30.66 points, or 0.46 percent, to 6,665.94.

Four of FAANG stocks, or the five most popular and best-performing tech stocks in the market, bounced to pare sharp losses of the tech-heavy Nasdaq from the previous sessions in 2018.

Shares of Facebook rose around 3.5 percent, leading the advancers. Shares of Amazon and Apple also increased 2.5 percent and 0.11 percent respectively.

While shares of Netflix dwindled over one percent after analysts said the media services provider saw declining subscriber growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to local media.

Seven of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors rallied on Wednesday, with the energy sector up 8.78 percent, leading the winners. U.S. crude future prices also rallied 2.5 percent to a two-week high of 46.5 U.S. dollars on Wednesday, a testament to the heating up of investor sentiment.

U.S. President Donald Trump attempted to calm the embattled U.S. stock market on Wednesday, saying a "glitch" occurred in reference to the brutal December sell-offs, in which the Dow and S&P 500 posted their worst December performance since 1931, as well as the Nasdaq dove onto the edge of a bear market.

"We had a little glitch in the stock market last month," he told reporters at a Cabinet meeting. "And it's going to go up once we settle trade issues, and once a couple of other things happen."

Trump also called for the U.S. Federal Reserves to take actions, fueling market speculations that the central bank will likely put an end to its monetary tightening in 2019.

"We need a little help from the Fed ... but we're going to be good. The trade deals are kicking in," he added.

However, fears still linger over the prospect of U.S. economic growth following the biggest yearly slumps of all the three major indexes in 2018.

On the economic front, a survey showed U.S. manufacturing growth hit a 15-month low amid a weaker rise in new business and the joint-softest expansion in output since September 2017, according to a press release of the London-based global information provider IHS Markit.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) posted 53.8 in December, down from 55.3 in November, it said, which would likely wane investors' confidence in the U.S. growth later this year.

 

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