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While you were sleeping: Nasdaq touches record

Tuesday 21st March 2017

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Wall Street moved lower, after the Nasdaq touched a record high earlier in the day, as investors looked for fresh guidance on interest rate hikes from a slew of Federal Reserve policy makers speaking this week. 

Shares of Apple climbed to a record after Barron’s published an article predicting the stock could rise 10 percent in six months. The stock, which earlier rose as high as US$141.34, traded 0.9 percent higher at US$141.18 as of 1.26pm in New York. 

Speeches by a host of Fed speakers, including Chair Janet Yellen who is scheduled to give a keynote talk on Thursday, might offer further clues about the pace of rate hikes this year following last week’s increase.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who is slated to speak later in the day, told Fox Business Network TV that the central bank might raise rates twice more this year.

"Three is entirely possible," Evans told Fox. "As I gain more confidence in the outlook I could support three total this year. If inflation began to pick up, that would certainly solidify [that expectation]. It could be three, it could be two, it could be four if things really pick up."

Wall Street gave up earlier gains. In 1.48pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.05 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.12 percent. In 1.33pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index inched 0.08 percent lower. The Nasdaq reached a record high 5,915.12 earlier in the day.

In the Dow, declines in shares of Visa and those of the Home Depot, down 1 percent and 0.9 percent respectively, offset gains in shares of Caterpillar and those of Nike, up 2.4 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.

Oil declined amid ongoing concern US producers are undermining coordinated international efforts to lower a global glut. 

"I think oil is reacting still to the steady rise in the US rig count and the realisation that momentum is building to the downside from the repositioning of speculative interests in the market," John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York, told Reuters.

The recent slump in oil prices is weighing on the initial public offering of Source Energy Services, Canada’s largest distributor of fracking sand. The Calgary-based company has cut the size of its IPO to about C$250 million (US$187 million) from C$300 million, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg.

It plans to sell shares at between C$13 to C$15 apiece, down from C$17 to C$20 a share previously, the document shows, Bloomberg reported. 

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a 0.2 percent decline from the previous close. France’s CAC 40 Index slid 0.3 percent, while Germany’s DAX Index fell 0.4 percent.

The UK’s FTSE 100 Index squeezed out a 0.07 percent advance.

 

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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