U.S. stocks post gains amid thin holiday trade

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-29 06:39:58|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NEW YORK, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Thursday, with the Dow notching record close, as trading remains thin in a holiday-shortened week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 63.21 points, or 0.26 percent, to 24,837.51. The S&P 500 rose 4.92 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,687.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 10.82 points, or 0.16 percent, to 6,950.16.

On the economic front, in the week ending December 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 245,000, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised level of 245,000, said the U.S. Labor Department Thursday.

The 4-week moving average was 237,750, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 236,000.

Trump finally signed a 1.5-trillion-dollar tax cut bill into law last week. He called it "a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs," adding that "corporations are literally going wild."

The tax bill, the sweeping rewriting of U.S. tax law since 1986, would cut corporate income tax rate to 21 percent from the current 35 percent and lower individual income rates.

Earnings expectations for next year look decent, but they could be great with tax reform, according to 2018 Market Outlook released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The tax reform could initially add as much as 19 dollars, or 14 percent to S&P 500 earnings per share, including a potential three-dollar benefit from repatriation-induced buy backs, said the bank.