US Futures rise on last trading day of 2016
U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, with the Dow poised for its best annual performance since 2013 amid increasing optimism about the outlook for the economy. Markets have shown surprising resilience to major political events, such as Britain’s vote in June to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president in November.
U.S. stocks, which had not priced in a Trump victory in the run-up to the vote, marked a series of record highs on bets that his policies would spur growth.
The year also stands in stark contrast to 2015 when a steep drop in oil prices left the S&P 500 and the Dow nursing losses. The commodity bounced back by more than 50 percent for its best year since 2009, partly due to a deal by major producers to limit supply.
The S&P energy index, which was the worst performer last year, is set to become the biggest gainer among the 10 other industry sectors in 2016. Healthcare and the newly created real estate indexes are currently the only sectors in the red for the year.
Wall Street ended slightly lower on Thursday, stalling the post-election rally as bank stocks came under pressure. The Dow is likely to make yet another push to 20,000, after losing some steam in the past two days. The index came within 13 points of the psychological milestone, but has been held back by thin trading volumes and nervousness about a potential correction.
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