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  HOME | Business & Economy (Click here for more)

US Stocks Hit New Highs as Amazon Reports Record Holiday Sales

NEW YORK – Share prices rose Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, pushing the three main indexes to new records amid sales figures from e-commerce giant Amazon showing that consumer spending remains strong.

The tech-dominated Nasdaq Composite Index, which includes Amazon, finished above 9,000 for the first time, gaining 69.51 points, or 0.78 percent, to end the session at 9,022.39.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 105.94 points, or 0.37 percent, to 28,621.39, while the S&P 500 advanced 16.53 points, or 0.51 percent, to 3,239.91.

The S&P 500 has surged 29.24 percent over the course of 2019.

By sectors, Health Care stocks suffered the biggest retreat, losing 0.12 percent in relatively light trading the day after Christmas.

The Consumer Discretionary category registered the largest gain, 1.43 percent, followed by Telecom (0.81 percent) and Technology, which edged up 0.74 percent.

Historically, stocks tend to rise on the NYSE during the final weeks of the year, a phenomenon known as the “Santa Claus rally,” but the effect was amplified Thursday by news from Amazon that its holiday sales broke all records, as consumers around the world purchased billions of products from the e-commerce giant.

“This holiday season has been better than ever thanks to our customers and employees all around the world,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, said in a press release.

Amazon climbed $79.56, or 4.45 percent, on the Nasdaq Thursday to end the day at $1,868.77 per share, the company’s highest closing price since Jan. 30.

Thursday’s leaders among the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Index were Apple Inc., up 1.98 percent; JP Morgan Chase, 1.06 percent, Walgreens Boots Alliance, 0.94 percent; Visa, 0.85 percent; Microsoft, 0.82 percent; United Technologies, 0.76 percent; and Intel, which gained 0.69 percent.

Of the five Dow issues that ended in negative territory, Boeing fared the worst, losing 0.92 percent.

On the oil market, the US benchmark crude, West Texas Intermediate, rose 57 cents, or 0.93 percent, to $61.68 a barrel.

The price of gold reached a two-month high of $1,516.20 an ounce, while the dollar declined 0.1 percent against the euro to 1,11.

 

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