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13-Feb2018

US markets closed higher for second straight session

The US markets closed higher for a second straight session on Monday, as investors waded back into the market, hunting for bargains amid signs of stability after one of the worst weeks for equity benchmarks in two years. There was no major economic data on the calendar Monday, but the data highlight of the week will be January consumer price inflation, due Wednesday. The dollar slipped back as global equity markets showed some sign of stability after the recent rout, reviving risk appetite and putting the US currency on the defensive on worries about its receding yield advantage.

Meanwhile, investors digested the newly released plan by the Trump administration to revamp the nation's infrastructure against the backdrop of mounting worries about accelerating inflation. President Donald Trump unveiled a long-awaited infrastructure plan designed to encourage spending on improvements by states, localities and private investors, but it faces an uphill battle in Congress and he made remarks that called into question how hard he will fight for it. The plan, which Trump called the biggest and boldest infrastructure investment in American history, would reshape how the federal government funds infrastructure projects. It also seeks to sweep away environmental and other regulatory hurdles to new projects. The Trump administration unfurled a plan to spend $200 billion over 10 years on grants to states and cities to improve highways, airports, bridges and tunnels and other infrastructure. Under the proposal, the Interior Department could tap some funds from energy and mineral extraction to pay for infrastructure improvements on government-owned land such as national parks. The proposal came under immediate fire from Democrats who said it would put a huge burden on local governments without providing enough federal dollars, and administration officials acknowledged that it faces a tough road ahead.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 410.37 points or 1.70 percent to 24,601.27, the Nasdaq gained 107.473 points or 1.56 percent to 6,981.96, the S&P 500 edged higher by 36.45 points or 1.39 percent to 2,656.00.



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