US markets cheer in the new year

Steve Dinneen
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US MARKETS reached two-year highs yesterday, buoyed by a strong performance from the manufacturing sector.

The S&P 500 closed up 1.13 per cent at 1271.87, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.8 per cent at 11670.75. The Nasdaq Composite added 1.46 per cent to 2691.52. Apple was one of the biggest winners, as its shares hit new record highs and Bank of America saw its shares leap 6.4 per cent.

Manufacturing grew for the 17th straight month in December and the Institute for Supply Management report showed new orders rose, but factory sector employment slipped to a nine-month low.

Oil prices also hit a 27 month high after predictions for colder weather.