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The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 0.59%, or 14.18 points, as of 1:45 p.m. ET. The Dow (^DJI) rose 0.82%, or 189.29 points, receding slightly from advances of more than 250 points earlier in the session. The Nasdaq (^IXIC) edged higher by 0.57%, or 37.28 points, after briefly dipping into the red.
The three major indices are still negative for the full-year 2018. As of market close Friday, the S&P 500 was down 7%, the Dow was lower by 6.7% and the Nasdaq was down 4.6% for the year.
With equity prices pummeled in the fourth quarter of 2018, many investors have fled to so-called safe haven investments including gold (XAUUSD=X). The metal hit a high of $1,286.50 per ounce on Monday, the highest price since mid-June this year. And this year’s best-performing currency was the yen, also known for being a haven asset, which has outperformed both the pound and the euro as Brexit and Italy’s budget concerns weighed on the major European currencies. As of Monday, the yen was up more than 2.5% for the year at 109.88 per dollar, Bloomberg reported.
Monday’s session comes on the heels of a volatile holiday-shortened week for stocks, during which the Dow posted its worst Christmas Eve performance on record before skyrocketing more than 1,000 points during the next trading session on Wednesday.
A fresh dose of optimism for U.S.-China trade relations helped send equities higher on the final trading day of the 2018 calendar year. President Donald Trump over the weekend wrote in a Twitter post that he “had a long and very good call with President Xi [Jinping] of China. Deal is moving along very well…Big progress being made!”
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