STOCKS START THE YEAR GREEN: Here's what you need to know

Stephanie Keith/Getty ImagesFireworks explode in Times Square on New Year’s Eve on January 1, 2018 in New York City.

Stocks finished higher on the first day of trading in 2018, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting records to open the year.

Markets will be seeking to repeat the successes of 2017 – a year in which the S&P 500 gained in each of the 12 months.

Here’s Monday’s scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,819.10 (+0.40%)
  • S&P 500: 2,695.82 (+0.83%)
  • Nasdaq: 7,006.90 (+1.50%)

What happened:

  1. The world’s hottest investment product is showing signs of slowing down: Exchange-traded-fund closures hit a record for a second straight year in 2017, according to Citigroup data, signalling the ETF market is maturing as traders shift how they’re using the funds.
  2. Oil is holding the $US60 per barrel mark as anti-government protests in Iran provide support.
  3. Energy giant BP expects a long term ‘Trump bump’ from the new US tax plan – but it’s taking a $US1.5 billion hit for now
  4. Warren Buffett has won his $US1 million bet against the hedge fund industry

In other news…

  1. Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund made a bet on bitcoin that’s now worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and the price of bitcoin spiked on the news.
  2. Millennials did a terrible job picking stocks in 2017, with six of Robinhood’s top 10 traded stocks ending the year lower than where they began.
  3. Steve Cohen’s new hedge fund will reportedly have an army of investigators to snoop on traders’ chats and calls.
  4. The cofounder of Ripple is now one of the world’s richest people after the company’s cryptocurrency, XRP, gained more than 37,000%

Finally, here’s what 12 Wall Street prof are predicting for the stock market in 2018.

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