Friday, 29 December 2017

Wall Street set to open higher on final trading day of 2017

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised to open on a bright note on the final trading day of 2017, wrapping up a year in which major Wall Street indexes recorded their best performance since 2013.

Investors were treated to bumper gains in the year, with strengthening global economy, solid corporate earnings and low interest rates fueling the nine-year old rally in global stocks.

The market has shown surprising strength despite tensions in North Korea and political upheavals in Washington. The S&P 500 has closed below 1 percent only four times this year.

The S&P technology index  has been the best performing sector, rising about 37 percent and outpacing gains in the broader index.

The rally is widely expected to extend into 2018, boosted by gains from a new law that lowers the tax burden on U.S. corporations.

At 6:56 a.m. ET (1156 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 60 points, or 0.24 percent, with 10,502 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 9 points, or 0.34 percent, with 64,781 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 18 points, or 0.28 percent, on volume of 13,512 contracts.

U.S. oil prices hit their highest since mid-2015 as an unexpected fall in American output and a drop in commercial crude inventories stoked buying.

Shares of Schlumberger were up 0.8 percent in premarket trading, while those of Exxon edged up 0.1 percent.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar

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