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U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.56%

U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.56%

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U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Technology, Healthcare and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.56%, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.49%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 0.67%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), which rose 2.11% or 6.11 points to trade at 295.90 at the close. Meanwhile, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) added 1.73% or 2.13 points to end at 125.54 and Visa Inc Class A (NYSE:V) was up 1.71% or 3.23 points to 191.92 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA), which fell 5.84% or 3.46 points to trade at 55.83 at the close. Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) declined 1.75% or 5.91 points to end at 331.37 and Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) was down 1.51% or 1.06 points to 69.23.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Constellation Brands Inc Class A (NYSE:STZ) which rose 3.64% to 190.29, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:VRTX) which was up 3.26% to settle at 231.09 and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) which gained 2.77% to close at 173.84.

The worst performers were Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) which was down 5.84% to 55.83 in late trade, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG) which lost 3.82% to settle at 16.85 and Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) which was down 3.74% to 104.10 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were ShiftPixy Inc (NASDAQ:PIXY) which rose 138.54% to 19.25, Midatech Pharma PLC ADR (NASDAQ:MTP) which was up 52.65% to settle at 1.040 and Toughbuilt Industries Inc (NASDAQ:TBLT) which gained 46.31% to close at 0.40.

The worst performers were Genetic Technologies Ltd (NASDAQ:GENE) which was down 27.72% to 3.260 in late trade, Zion Oil & Gas Inc (NASDAQ:ZN) which lost 24.14% to settle at 0.294 and Apex Global Brands Inc (NASDAQ:APEX) which was down 22.55% to 0.79 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1627 to 1182 and 94 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1536 rose and 1117 declined, while 76 ended unchanged.

Shares in Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:VRTX) rose to all time highs; rising 3.26% or 7.30 to 231.09. Shares in Visa Inc Class A (NYSE:V) rose to all time highs; gaining 1.71% or 3.23 to 191.92. Shares in ShiftPixy Inc (NASDAQ:PIXY) rose to all time highs; up 138.54% or 11.18 to 19.25.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 2.47% to 13.45.

Gold Futures for February delivery was down 1.05% or 16.60 to $1557.70 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February fell 4.34% or 2.72 to hit $59.98 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract fell 0.03% or 0.02 to trade at $65.86 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.05% to 1.1109, while USD/JPY fell 0.03% to 109.08.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.35% at 97.037.

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