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S&P 500, Dow End Tuesday With New Highs12/12 16:10

   Big-name companies notched gains on Wall Street Tuesday, delivering more 
records for two of the major stock indexes.

   (AP) -- Big-name companies notched gains on Wall Street Tuesday, delivering 
more records for two of the major stock indexes.

   The Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average 
finished at all-time highs for the second day this week, while a slide in 
technology stocks pulled the Nasdaq lower. Small-company stocks also lagged.

   Banks and other financial stocks led the gainers as the Federal Reserve met 
to discuss interest rates. The central bank is expected to raise rates for the 
third time this year on Wednesday, which allows banks to charge more to lend 
money.

   Technology stocks declined the most. Energy stocks also fell as crude oil 
prices closed lower. Bitcoin futures fell on their second day of trading.

   "It's another day, another all-time high," said Brian Nick, chief investment 
strategist at Nuveen Asset Management.

   The S&P 500 index rose 4.12 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,664.11. The Dow 
gained 118.77 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,504.80. The Nasdaq lost 12.76 
points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,862.32. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company 
stocks fell 3.72 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,516.12. More stocks fell than 
rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

   Even though inflation has remained low, the Fed has seen a path to gradually 
raise rates as the economy and labor market have strengthened. While the 
central bank is widely expected to announce a 0.25 percent increase in 
short-term interest rates Wednesday, investors will be listening for any hints 
that the Fed could pick up its pace on rate hikes next year.

   "There's a chance at the meeting tomorrow they're going to be showing four 
rate hikes next year in their forecast as opposed to three, where it had been 
in September," Nick said. "So this is seen as a not just sort of a one-off hike 
like we've had in the past, but a continuation of a quarterly cadence of rate 
hikes."

   Meanwhile, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will have 
policy announcements on Thursday. Neither is expected to change rates, leaving 
the focus on their economic forecasts.

   The prospect of another short-term interest rate hike helped lift bank 
shares. Goldman Sachs Group rose $7.55, or 3 percent, to $257.68.

   The latest batch of corporate earnings, outlooks and deal news also helped 
move markets Tuesday.

   Several shopping mall owners closed higher after Australian company 
Westfield agreed to be bought by France's Unibail-Rodamco for $15.7 billion. 
Macerich gained $3.18, or 5 percent, to $66.47, while Simon Property Group rose 
$4.09, or 2.5 percent, to $166.35. GGP picked up 38 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 
$23.77.

   Comcast rose 2.8 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that the 
cable TV and entertainment company was no longer in talks to buy parts of 21st 
Century Fox. Comcast added $1.07 to $39.51. The Journal also reported that 
Disney is in talks with Fox and that a deal could be announced this week. Fox 
shares gained 44 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $34.10.

   Urban Outfitters rose after the retailer issued a positive update on its 
fourth-quarter sales. The stock added 11 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $32.38.

   The latest quarterly snapshot from Casey's General Stores put traders in a 
selling mood. The retailer slumped 11.6 percent after its second-quarter profit 
fell short of analysts' estimates. The stock gave up $14.07 to $107.18.

   Edison International fell 6 percent after the utility said it believes 
authorities are looking into the possibility that wildfires in California 
started at one of its facilities. Edison shares slid $4.40 to $68.58.

   Technology stocks, which have been the best performing sector this year with 
a gain of 37 percent, made up a big portion of the laggards. Micron Technology 
slid $1.15, or 2.7 percent, to $41.86.

   Energy prices fell. Benchmark U.S. crude slid 85 cents, or 1.5 percent, to 
settle at $57.14 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, 
the international standard for oil, shed $1.35, or 2.1 percent, to close at 
$63.34 per barrel in London.

   The decline in oil prices weighed on energy sector stocks. Cabot Oil & Gas 
shed 73 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $27.60.

   In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents to $1.70 a 
gallon. Heating oil shed 2 cents to $1.93 a gallon. Natural gas fell 15 cents, 
or 5.3 percent, to $2.68 per 1,000 cubic feet.

   Gold fell $5.20, or 0.4 percent, to $1,241.70 an ounce. Silver dropped 12 
cents to $15.67 an ounce. Copper added a penny to $3.02 a pound.

   The dollar rose to 113.58 Japanese yen from 113.52 yen late Monday. The euro 
fell to $1.1737 from $1.1786.

   Bitcoin futures fell $525, or 2.8 percent, to $18,020 on the Cboe Futures 
Exchange. The futures allow investors to make bets on the future price of 
bitcoin. The average price of an actual bitcoin was $17,246 in late-afternoon 
trading on private exchanges, according to Coindesk. The price of the digital 
currency has soared this year, having begun 2017 under $1,000.

   Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.41 percent 
from 2.39 percent late Monday.

   Major stock indexes in Europe rose. Germany's DAX gained 0.5 percent, while 
the CAC 40 of France added 0.8 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent.

   Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.3 percent, while South 
Korea's Kospi dropped 0.4 percent. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong shed 0.6 
percent. The S&P ASX 200 added 0.3 percent. India's Sensex dropped 0.7 percent. 
Other regional markets were mostly lower.


(BE)

 
 
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