Stocks tick up, oil gains in thin holiday volume

Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:48pm EST
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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks edged higher on Tuesday as trading in some of the world's major financial markets resumed after a Christmas break, with oil also up, supported by looming supply cuts.

Trading volume across markets was expected to remain thin, as it usually is in the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Concerns about Italian banks, Chinese growth and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's protectionist bent look set to keep investors on edge into the start of 2017.

But expectations that the incoming administration will champion a fiscal boost for the U.S. economy also have markets betting on inflation and more growth overall that could benefit companies globally.

Data on Tuesday showed American consumers' confidence shot to its highest in more than 15 years in December as they saw more strength ahead in business conditions, stock prices and the job market, while house prices continued their steady recovery in October.

"It is a bit of a catch-up rally today, with leadership today coming from areas such as healthcare and technology - those that have not participated fairly in the rally," said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 11.23 points, or 0.06 percent, to 19,945.04, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 5.09 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,268.88 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 24.75 points, or 0.45 percent, to 5,487.44.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 edged up 0.08 percent, while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.13 percent.   Continued...

A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. December 27, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly