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Energy stocks, banks lead indexes higher

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Banks and energy companies led U.S. stocks higher Thursday, erasing modest losses from the day before.

Retailers and makers of consumer products also posted solid gains. Small-company stocks rose more than the rest of the market, and technology stocks lagged. Trading was mostly subdued as investors looked ahead to the long holiday weekend.

“Most of the optimism of the tax plan was probably built into the market already and I thought we might be in a little bit of a sideways mode here for a while,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab. “But we’ve pretty much gained back almost what we gave up in the last two days. It’s a pretty good sign to see that.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.2 percent, to 2,684.57. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 55.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,782.29. The Nasdaq composite added 0.1 percent, to 6,965.36. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 0.5 percent, to 1,547.11.

The indexes are all on course to finish the month with solid gains.

They have risen over the past few weeks as Washington moved closer to passing its tax overhaul, but they haven’t done much over the last several days as Congress voted on the bill. — AP

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