Published: Sat, December 30, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Healthcare stocks lift Wall Street at open

Healthcare stocks lift Wall Street at open

Meanwhile, the USA deficit in goods increased 2.3% in November to $69.7 billion.

Health-care stocks scored big time, with Canopy Growth up $2.42, or 8.7%, to $30.19. Losses by technology and energy companies outweighed gains by consumer products and healthcare stocks.

XFutures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 all scratched out fractional gains.

Gold stocks weighed most among the sectors losing strength, as Barrick Gold docking 15 cents to $18.17, and Kinross Gold losing three cents to $5.41. Bombardier fell two cents to $3.01.

US stock indexes finished slightly higher in light trading Thursday, nudging the Dow Jones industrial average to its 71st record high this year.

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Despite extremely thin trading conditions, the Dow posted its 71 record close for the year on Thursday.

The blue-chip index gained 63.21 points to close at 24,837.51, with UnitedHealth and IBM contributing the most to the gains.

"Those that are in [the market] are hoping we might be able to make a new high at the close of the year", Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth. This would mark the first time since 1954 that the Dow rose in each of the final six full weeks of the year. That does not include weeks encompassing two different years.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped less than 1 point to 2,686 as of 10:23 a.m. EST. Mining stock Rio Tinto closed 0.99 percent higher.

The S&P was also tracking for weekly gains as of Thursday's close.

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A note released this week by Wells Fargo Advisors predicted the tax bill could extend the United States economic growth cycle "by a couple of years more", boosting some sectors, such as industrials.

The S&P 500 is up 448.71 points, or 20 percent.

The S&P 500 is up 4.20 points, or 0.2 percent.

On a monthly basis, the indexes are also set for a historic end to the year. The tech-based NASDAQ Composite struggled all session before posting a slight gain.

In economic news, the advance trade deficit in goods increased to $69.7 billion in November from $68.1 billion in October. The broad-based dollar selloff came after U.S. Treasury yields tumbled on Wednesday.

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Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp.(CHK) surged more than 5%, as crude-oil prices. perked up following additional signs that crude inventories are being steadily trimmed, setting the stage for possible gains for oil futures headed into 2018.

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