Wall Street closes higher despite looming Fed rate hike

 04 Mar 2017 - 11:55

Wall Street closes higher despite looming Fed rate hike
File Photo: AA.

AA

NEW YORK: Rising oil prices helped Wall Street to a higher close Friday, despite the likelihood the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates later this month. 

"It will be appropriate to gradually increase the federal funds rate if the economic data continue to come in about as we expect," said Fed Chair Janet Yellen. 

The higher chance of an increase should have strengthened the dollar and lower crude prices but just the opposite happened as investors are optimistic about President Donald Trump's proposals to deregulate industries, cut corporate taxes and increase infrastructure spending, according to analysts. 

Crude prices gained more than 1 percent and Wall Street managed to stay in the positive territory. 

At the final bell, American benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose 1.2 percent to $53.22 and International benchmark Brent crude was at $55.81 -- a 1.3 percent gain. 

The Dow added just two points to close the day at 21,005 and the S&P gained one point to finish at 2,383. 

The Nasdaq increased nine points to 5,870, thanks to Snap Inc. that gained 10.6 percent Friday, after logging a 44 percent jump on its IPO the previous day. 

The Dow and the Nasdaq each increased 0.4 percent for the week. The S&P rose 0.7 percent. 

It was the fourth straight weekly gain for the Dow, while the S&P and Nasdaq logged their sixth weekly increase.