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Nasdaq closes above 9,000 for first time as rally rolls on

From MSN: Stocks ended higher Thursday, hitting record highs as the market rallied into the end of 2019.

The Dow closed 105 points higher, while the S&P 500 climbed 0.5%. The Nasdaq finished about 9,000 for the first time, rising nearly 0.8% to 9,022.

The three major averages all hit new all-time highs. Amazon led the gains, jumping more than 4% after the e-commerce giant said the holiday shopping season broke all records. Trading volumes remained thin this week.

Stocks have been piling up records as the market wraps up 2019. The S&P 500 has risen 3% this month and 8.6% this quarter, bringing the year-to-date gains to 29%. The benchmark has a good chance at scoring a historic year: It is now less than 1 percentage point from posting the best annual performance since 1997.

“Stocks look like they just wont quit. The rally is for real,” Chris Rupkey, a chief financial economist at MUFG, said in a note. “The economy’s engines continue to hum.”

U.S. weekly jobless claims decreased 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended Dec. 21, the Labor Department said Thursday. The number is slightly higher than estimates of 220,000 in a Dow Jones poll of economists.

Markets in Europe, Australia and Hong Kong remained closed Thursday for the holiday. Trading volumes were muted in the U.S. with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) trading about 23.5 million shares Thursday, well below its 30-day volume average of 60 million shares.

In a shortened Christmas Eve session Tuesday, the S&P 500 finished flat and the Nasdaq rose to another record. The tech-heavy index also posted its ninth consecutive record close for the first time since 1998.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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