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US markets end abbreviated session with modest gains

The US markets ended the abbreviated trading session with marginal gains on Friday. Trading activity remained subdued, however, as many traders remained away from their desks following the holiday. An early close on Wall Street also contributed to the light trading. Traders remained on sidelines ahead of congressional testimony which may attract attention next week, as the Senate Banking Committee is due to hold a confirmation hearing for Federal Reserve Chair nominee Jerome Powell. Current Fed Chair Janet Yellen is also scheduled to testify on the economic outlook before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. Also, market participants opted to stay away from risky assets ahead of reports on new home sales, consumer confidence, personal income and spending, and manufacturing activity which may also attract attention next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 31.81 points or 0.14 percent to 23,557.99, the S&P 500 jumped 5.34 points or 0.21 percent to 2,602.42, while the Nasdaq was up by 21.80 points or 0.32 percent to 6,889.16.

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