Reports of China Crackdown Hit Gambling Stocks Hard



Stocks closed solidly higher Wednesday, shaking off some recent doldrums and giving the S&P 500 its biggest daily gain since late August. Energy companies did particularly well as prices for crude oil and natural gas climbed, and Microsoft helped pull the tech sector higher after announcing a dividend increase and a new stock buyback program, the AP reports. The S&P 500 rose 37.65 points, or 0.8%, to 4,480.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 236.82 points, or 0.7%, to 34,814.39. The Nasdaq rose 123.77 points, or 0.8%, to 15,161.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 24.46 points, or 1.1%, to 2,234.45.

Casino stocks fell following reports of a possible crackdown on the industry by Chinese officials in Macau, the former Portuguese colony and gambling center. Wynn Resorts was down 6.3% for the biggest drop in the S&P 500, while MGM Resorts fell 3.3% and Las Vegas Sands slid 2.3%. Wynn is down more than 17% from last week. Oil prices rose more than 3% and natural gas prices rose 3.7% as the oil and gas industry continues to sort through the damage caused by hurricane season in the Gulf. Disruptions have been more pronounced than originally expected, and there’s been some oil spills from some refineries.

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