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Dec 15, 4:11 PM EST

Markets Right Now: Stock indexes gain as tax plan advances


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The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

4 p.m.

Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street as Congressional Republicans put the final touches on a tax overhaul plan.

The gains Friday more than wiped out the market's losses from the day before and drove indexes to their latest all-time highs.

Small-company stocks, which stand to benefit most from lower corporate tax rates, rose more than the rest of the market.

Costco Wholesale jumped 3.4 percent after reporting a strong quarter. Hess rose 2.3 percent after Reuters said an activist investor plans to push for changes at the energy company.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 23 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,675.

The Dow Jones industrials rose 143 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,651. The Nasdaq rose 80 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,936.

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11:45 a.m.

Stocks moved broadly higher in midday trading, erasing modest losses from the day before.

Technology companies, banks, and health care stocks were among the biggest gainers Friday.

Investors were encouraged by signs that the Republican-backed tax overhaul bill was making progress in Congress.

Costco Wholesale jumped 3.4 percent after reporting a strong quarter.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 21 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,673.

The Dow Jones industrials rose 149 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,659. The Nasdaq composite rose 58 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,915.

Small-company stocks, which stand to benefit most from lower corporate tax rates, rose more than the rest of the market.

The Russell 2000 index rose 19 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,526.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks are opening broadly higher on Wall Street, erasing modest losses from the day before.

Consumer products makers and retailers were among the early winners on Friday. Philip Morris rose 2.2 percent.

Several companies were moving on earnings news. Software maker Adobe rose 1 percent and Costco Wholesale jumped 4 percent after each reported strong results.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,663.

The Dow Jones industrials rose 118 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,625. The Nasdaq composite rose 18 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,874.

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