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U.S. Markets Move Higher On Otherwise Slow Day

Boosted by technology stocks and housing, major U.S. Stock indexes closed higher despite slow post-holiday trading.

The Nasdaq ended the day breaking a record. By the market's close, it had reached 5,487 points, a gain of 0.45 percent.

The Dow moved closer to a record 20,000 high reaching 19,945 by the time of the bell.

The Associated Press notes that despite these gains, it was an otherwise slow day for the markets. In fact, the news service says it was the lightest trading day since October 2015. At the same time, signs point to an altogether healthy year for U.S. markets.

"Markets are moving toward 20,000 and bond yields are up; there's a little bit of buoyancy in oil prices," chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank, Erik Davidson, told the news service.

Reuters adds that consumer and housing data, along with technology gains, pushed markets higher:

"Tuesday data showed American consumers' confidence shot to its highest in more than 15 years in December as they saw more strength ahead in business conditions, stock prices and the job market, while house prices continued their steady recovery in October.

"U.S. equities have been riding a post-presidential election rally, feeding on optimism that Donald Trump's plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending could bolster the economy. With the market priced for positive outcomes in various scenarios, some see the end-year rally as an opportunity to cash-in gains. ...

"About 4.13 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 7.27 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions. Volume this week last year averaged 5 billion stocks daily.

"The largest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 was Nvidia Corp, which rose 6.9 percent and boosted the chipmakers.

"Amazon rose 1.4 percent to $771.40. The online retailer said it shipped over 1 billion items to Prime members during the holiday season."

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