Dow has first close above 24,000 points

New York Stock Exchange
FILE - This Oct. 4, 2014, file photo, shows the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Global markets meandered Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, despite earlier gains in Asia and as the surge in oil prices faded in light Christmas Eve trading. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

4 p.m.

Stocks powered to new highs on Wall Street, giving the Dow Jones industrials their biggest gain since March and putting them past 24,000 points for the first time.

Other market indicators also reached milestones on Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, which is widely followed by professional investors, had its biggest monthly gain since February.

Technology stocks were responsible for much of the gain, following a sharp pullback the day before.

Investors welcomed signs that the odds were improving for the Republican-led effort to forge a sweeping tax overhaul bill.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 21 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,647.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 331 points, or 1.4 percent, to 24,272. The Nasdaq composite rose 49 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,873.

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11:45 a.m.

Stocks are rising on Wall Street as the technology turns higher following a steep drop a day earlier.

Banks and industrial companies were also higher in midday trading Thursday. Alliance Data Systems jumped 3 percent, JPMorgan Chase rose 1.4 percent and Union Pacific rose 2.9 percent.

Supermarket operator Kroger jumped 9.8 percent after reporting a strong quarter, and arts and crafts store Michaels soared 11.8 percent after its own results came in ahead of forecasts.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 16 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,642.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 196 points, or 0.8 percent, to 24,136. The Nasdaq composite rose 41 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,865.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks are opening broadly higher on Wall Street a day after a steep drop in technology shares weighed on the market.

Banks and health care companies were among the biggest gainers early Thursday. JPMorgan Chase rose 1.1 percent and UnitedHealth climbed 1.2 percent.

Supermarket operator Kroger jumped 11.5 percent after reporting a strong quarter, and arts and crafts store Michaels soared 17.6 percent after its own results came in ahead of forecasts.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 13 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,638.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 114 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,056. The Nasdaq composite rose 31 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,854.