U.S. Index Futures Gain as Dow Above 18,000, S&P 500 Near Record

U.S. stock-index futures climbed amid low volume as markets reopen after the Christmas holiday.

Contracts on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in March rose 0.2 percent to 2,082.4 at 9:26 a.m. in London today as 76 of the futures changed hands. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts added 37 points, or 0.2 percent to 18,025, and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index gained 0.3 percent to 4,295.

Both the S&P 500 and the Dow reached records this week after posting their biggest five-day rally in three years. The S&P 500 climbed 0.5 percent in the past three days, and the Dow added 1.3 percent, closing above 18,000 for a second day on Dec. 24. The S&P 500 ended little changed, erasing an advance of as much as 0.3 percent in the final minutes of the shortened trading day. Markets were closed yesterday for Christmas.

The recent gains are taking the Dow up 1.1 percent for the month and 8.8 percent this year. The S&P 500 has risen 0.7 percent in December and 13 percent in 2014.

A slump in oil prices threatened the stock rally earlier this month, with the S&P 500 closing at a seven-week low on Dec. 16. The index recovered its losses faster than in comparable drops earlier this year as the Federal Reserve said it will be patient on the timing of interest-rate increases and the U.S. economy expanded at the fastest pace in more than a decade.

Source: Bloomberg

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Dow Average Tops 18,000 for First Time on U.S. Economic Growth

PT BEST PROFIT FUTURESThe Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 18,000 for the first time as faster-than-forecast growth in gross domestic product boosted confidence in the economy and overshadowed declines in health-care companies.

The Dow average added 66.66 points, or 0.4 percent, to a record 18,026.10 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent to 2,082.21, also reaching an all-time high. Both gauges have advanced five straight days. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index slipped 4.6 percent for the biggest decline since April.

It’s been 172 days since the Dow closed above 17,000 on July 3, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the fifth-fastest trip between thousands, with the record being 35 days to 11,000 in May 1999. It took the index almost 5,200 days to go from 1,000 to 2,000 between 1972 and 1987, according to Howard Silverblatt, an index analyst at the New York-based S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The Dow closed at an eight-month low on Oct. 16 before rallying more than 1,882 points, or 12 percent, to to top 18,000. PT BEST PROFIT FUTURES

Source: Bloomberg

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