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Overnight Markets: S&P 500 surges past 2,700 on tech advance

Other major US indices also closed at new all-time highs as investors remained broadly bullish on the economy amid improving economic data.

Overnight Markets: S&P 500 surges past 2,700 on tech advance

The S&P 500 index rose above 2,700 for the first time on Wednesday, boosted by strong US manufacturing data, higher oil prices and continued strength in technology shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 99 points, or 0.4%, to 24,923, the S&P 500 gained 17 points, or 0.64%, to 2,713 and the Nasdaq Composite added 59 points, or 0.84%, to 7,066.

Stocks added slightly to the gains late, with minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showing the US central bank would likely stick to gradual interest rate hikes this year.

Earlier in the session, data showed US factory activity increased more than expected in December, a sign of economic momentum at the end of 2017. Meanwhile, manufacturing surveys pointed to a strong start for the European economy.

For technology stocks, Alphabet Inc, IBM and chipmakers were among the biggest drivers. The S&P 500 tech index ended the day up 1.1%. However, Intel Corp ended down 3.4% after the company acknowledged a report that a design flaw in its chips could let hackers steal data.

Rival chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices climbed 5.2%. Nvidia Corp gained 6.6% and Micron Technology Inc rose 3%.

Oracle Crop shares were up 2.3% after Morgan Stanley upgraded its rating on the business software maker.

Gains in energy and healthcare also boosted the market. The S&P energy index gained 1.5% while S&P healthcare rose 1%.

Petroleum-linked shares rose sharply as oil prices rallied on the upheaval in Iran and persistently cold weather in the US.

Dow member ExxonMobil gained 2.0%, Apache rose 2.3% and Schlumberger added 2.6%.

In Asia, major Asian markets traded higher on Thursday in morning session, following the stronger lead seen on Wall Street.

Japan's Nikkei 225 popped at the open, jumping 2.45% as markets there opened for their first day of trade after a long New Year weekend. Meanwhile, the Kospi tacked on 0.24%. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.25%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index added 0.14%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.30%.


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