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US markets end in green after earnings reports

The US markets ended higher on Wednesday following a batch of strong earnings reports. Tech giant IBM Corp. (IBM) posted a standout gain after reporting fourth quarter results that beat estimates and providing upbeat guidance for 2019. Shares of United Technologies (UTX) also moved notably higher after the industrial conglomerate reported fourth quarter results that exceeded Street estimates on both the top and bottom lines. Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (PG) also saw significant strength after reporting better than expected fiscal second quarter results.  However, upside remain capped as traders expressed uncertainty about the economic impact of the ongoing US government shutdown. A top economic adviser to President Donald Trump acknowledged the shutdown could lead to a lack of economic growth in the first quarter.

White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett conceded the US could see zero growth if the shutdown continues for the whole quarter. He said 'It is true that if we get a typically weak first quarter and extended shutdown that we could end up with a number that is very low,' or 'very close to zero,'. Though, Hassett predicted second quarter growth would subsequently be humongous assuming the government reopened.

Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 171.14 points or 0.70 percent to 24575.62, Nasdaq gained 5.41 points or 0.08 percent to 7025.77 and S&P 500 was up by 5.80 points or 0.22 percent to 2638.70.

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