1-2-18 5:11 PM EST | Email Article
By Christopher Whittall and Akane Otani 

Rallying technology and consumer-discretionary shares pushed the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 to fresh records in the first trading session of 2018.

After a banner year for markets around the world, many investors say they are optimistic that the long U.S. stock rally can continue in the year ahead.

Firming global growth and solid corporate earnings have helped lift stocks to fresh highs, even as some investors have grown nervous over the length of the rally.

That backdrop should help major indexes keep rising in 2018, many investors and analysts say, although some expect stock gains to slow.

"We'd expect the global expansion to continue and drive equities to new highs in the process," said Shoqat Bunglawala, head of the global portfolio solutions group for EMEA at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

He also said he expects gains to be punctuated with short periods of volatility as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 104.79 points, or 0.4%, to 24824.01 after notching its second-biggest yearly gain of the past decade in 2017.

The S&P 500 rose 22.18 points, or 0.8%, to a fresh closing high of 2695.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 103.51 points, or 1.5%, to a record of 7006.90, notching its first close above the 7000 level.

Shares of technology companies climbed Tuesday, reversing course after sliding in the last trading session of 2017. Advanced Micro Devices rose 70 cents, or 6.8%, to $10.98 while Micron Technology jumped 2.55, or 6.2%, to 43.67.

Meanwhile, analyst upgrades helped push shares of consumer-discretionary companies higher.

Nordstrom jumped 1.74, or 3.7%, to 49.12 after J.P. Morgan analysts upgraded their rating for the stock to "neutral" from "underweight," while Netflix climbed 9.11, or 4.7%, to 201.07 after Macquarie bumped up its rating for the stock to "outperform" from "neutral." The S&P 500 consumer-discretionary sector rose 1.5%, ending the day as the second best-performing group in the S&P 500.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 edged down 0.2%, weighed down by declines in real-estate stocks.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 2%, thanks in part to advances in shares of messaging-and-gaming heavyweight Tencent Holdings.

Kenan Machado contributed to this article.

Write to Christopher Whittall at christopher.whittall@wsj.com and Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 02, 2018 17:11 ET (22:11 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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