DATA released yesterday showing that the US economy grew at a fairly healthy clip in the third quarter buoyed the markets.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended 0.96 per cent higher, or 165.65 points, at 17,417.27. The S&P 500 gained 0.88 per cent to 2,038.97 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.65 per cent to 5,001.11.
Caterpillar rose 4.86 percent in its biggest one-day gain since October.
Oil prices edged up from 11-year lows although persistent global oversupply concerns and tepid demand for heating oil remained in what is likely to be the warmest winter on record. Chevron shares gained 1.15 per cent. The consumer staples index rose 1.23 per cent, with pharmacy operator CVS Health up 2.42 per cent.
Some of yesterday’s gains were the result of last-minute tweaks by investment funds, said Ken Winans, president of Winans Investments in Novato, California. “It would be a miracle to get the Dow and S&P to have December just be even at this point,” Winans said.