Another record close on Wall Street as tax deal progresses

US stocks on Wall Street closed at record highs again on Thursday, amid signs that Congress is closer to a deal on a budget and tax cuts.

Financial and technology firms – among those expected to enjoy the greatest benefit from tax cuts – led the gains.

The technology-focused NASDAQ rose 50.7 points, or 0.8%, to 6,585.3.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 114.1 points, or 0.5%, to 22,775.8, while the wider S&P 500 rose 14.3 points, or 0.6%, to 2,552.1.

The White House has been pushing for a tax overhaul that would include a major fall in the corporate tax rate, as well as a change to the way profits earned overseas are treated.

On Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives approved a spending blueprint that provides an outline for tax cuts. A Senate vote is expected soon.

Shares in major banks, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase – which have pushed for changes – had some of the biggest increases.

Goldman Sachs shares rose 2.4%, while JPMorgan stock rose 1.3%.

Apple, which has been under pressure in recent weeks, climbed more than 1%, while Google owner Alphabet gained 1.9%.

Investors were also reacting to new economic data that showed that the US trade deficit in goods and services narrowed slightly in August to $42.4bn from July’s $43.6bn, as exports of goods and services hit the highest level for more than two and a half years.

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