Business

Another record close on Wall Street as tax deal progresses

NYSE trader Image copyright Reuters

US stocks closed at record highs again on Thursday, amid signs that Congress is closer to a deal on a budget and tax cuts.

Financial and technology firms - among those expected to enjoy the greatest benefit from tax cuts - led the gains.

The technology-focused Nasdaq rose 50.7 points, or 0.8%, to 6,585.3.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 114.1 points, or 0.5%, to 22,775.8, while the wider S&P 500 rose 14.3 points, or 0.6%, to 2,552.1.

The White House has been pushing for a tax overhaul that would include a major fall in the corporate tax rate, as well as a change to the way profits earned overseas are treated.

On Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives approved a spending blueprint that provides an outline for tax cuts. A Senate vote is expected soon.

Shares in major banks, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase - which have pushed for changes - had some of the biggest increases.

Goldman Sachs shares rose 2.4%, while JPMorgan stock rose 1.3%.

Apple, which has been under pressure in recent weeks, climbed more than 1%, while Google owner Alphabet gained 1.9%.

Investors were also reacting to new economic data that showed that the US trade deficit in goods and services narrowed slightly in August to $42.4bn from July's $43.6bn, as exports of goods and services hit the highest level for more than two and a half years.