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Thursday, 19 January 2017

S&P 500 Ends Up Slightly With Boost From Financials; Netflix Up

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The S&P 500 ended a choppy session slightly higher on Wednesday, helped by a rise in financials after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said it "makes sense" to gradually lift interest rates. The S&P financials index rose 0.8 percent, adding to gains late in the session following Yellen's remarks to the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.

Financials have rallied since the November US election on expectations of higher rates and of reduced regulations under President-elect Donald Trump. Goldman Sachs was down 0.6 percent and Citigroup fell 1.7 percent, however. Both reported quarterly results earlier in the day. The Dow ended lower for the fourth day in a row.

The frenetic post-election rally in US equities has slowed in recent weeks as investors wait for Trump to work on his campaign promises. Investors hope to get more insight following his inauguration on Friday. "You might see people taking a break here and moving to the sidelines just to see what type of shape the environment takes as far as policy," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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