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Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains on tax reform optimism

Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains on tax reform optimism

Wall Street stocks jumped on Tuesday as US lawmakers' comments on tax reform and the debt ceiling boosted investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 196 points, or 0.9%, to 21,900, the S&P 500 gained 24 points, or 0.99%, to 2,453 and the Nasdaq Composite added 84 points, or 1.36%, to 6,297.

US House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday said that tax reform would be easier to pass than the failed healthcare overhaul because Republicans have built a consensus.

Separately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that there was "zero chance" that the US will fail to raise the debt ceiling in September, allaying concerns that the country is poised to default on its debt, according to reports.

Investors are also looking for positive hints on US monetary policy from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday at the annual central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Gains in shares were broad yesterday, with nearly all of the 11 major S&P sectors rising. Technology shares led the advance, up 1.5%.

The S&P 500 materials index also jumped more than 1%, enjoying its best day since mid-June, led by rising commodity and metals prices.

Among individual stocks, Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX.N) added 2.31% on news that Indonesia expects to strike an agreement this month to allow the miner to keep operating its copper mine in Papua.

Dow member Chevron rose 0.6% after reports that chief executive John Watson plans to announce he will step down next month.

Macy's Inc (M.N) rose 4.56%, scoring its best day in nearly seven months, after announcing restructuring and job cuts.

DSW Inc (DSW.N) shares surged 17.46% after the footwear retailer reported a surprise rise in comparable sales.

Monsanto rose 0.3% after the European Commission announced it would open an in-depth investigation into the agricultural giant's proposed $66 billion takeover by Germany's Bayer due to antitrust concerns.

In Asia, most shares gained on Wednesday in morning session following the rally on Wall Street overnight as risk aversion faded and the dollar found some reprieve.

Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.59% to end a five-day losing streak. Across the Korean strait, the Kospi tacked on 0.16%. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 traded higher by 0.06%.

Mainland China markets bucked the trend and edged down. The Shanghai Composite slid 0.24% and the Shenzhen Composite declined 0.25% in early trade.

Meanwhile, morning trade for Hong Kong markets was cancelled as tropical cyclone Hato approached.

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Profile: Kevin Doran's formula for success at AJ Bell

Profile: Kevin Doran's formula for success at AJ Bell

From a degree in theoretical physics to teaching and becoming one of the youngest chief investment officers in the UK, Kevin Doran has certainly had an interesting career.

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