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U.S. stocks refresh 2-year high in light trade as energy sector surges
Date: 2010/12/31 Click: 1946
U.S. stocks edged up on Wednesday to new two-year high as energy sector surged.

As year-end nears, the investors preferred to lock their whole year gains, the trading volume was thin and the market was supposed to be quiet in the rest days of the last week this year.

But the bond market was not quiet. Wednesday's 29 billion dollar seven-year note sale received strong demand, pushing the yield down to 2.83 percent, compared with 2.85 percent indicated before the sale. Treasury success pressured the dollar performance.

U.S. dollar fell against major currencies, the dollar index dipped about 0.7 percent. And commodities priced in dollar got lifted, boosting the energy and basic materials sectors.

Energy stocks have been recently under the spotlight after the Exxon Mobil and Chevron both hit their all time highs in the previous session, as the crude prices trading around the highest level in more than two years amid cold weather and decreasing inventories.

S&P 500 energy sector surged on Wednesday 1.04 percent. Chevron Corp. added another 0.18 percent to 91.37. Noble Energy Inc. rose 2.6 percent, to 87.16 after it confirmed estimates that its offshore Leviathan gas reserve contains about 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which makes it Israel's largest energy discovery ever.

Monsanto led the materials sector with a gain of 1.81, or 2.7 percent, to 68.92. Agrium Inc. (USA) rose 4.52 percent to 90.16 and Freeport-McMoRan Copper ended 0.74 percent to 119.15.

At the closing, the Dow Jones industrial average added 9.84 points, or 0.09 percent, to 11,585.38, its highest level since August, 2008. Seventeen of the Dow's 30 components rose. McDonald' s led with an advance of 56 cents, or 0.7 percent, to 76.99 dollars, while Walt Disney and Wal-Mart Stores each gained 0.6 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.27 points, or 0.10 percent, to 1,259.78 and the Nasdaq was up 4.05 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,666.93.

In the other markets, New York crude benchmark dropped 37 cents to 91.12 dollars a barrel in light trade and gold futures rose for the third session by 7.9 dollars to 1,413.5 dollars per ounce on weaker dollar.
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