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While you were sleeping: Wall St, dollar rise on rate bets

Tuesday 17th October 2017

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Wall Street and the US dollar advanced a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen bolstered expectations the central bank will raise interest rates once more this year.

“Yellen’s speech continued to be more along the lines of: We don’t have much evidence of inflation, but we’re going to plan on raising rates anyway because we have faith that inflation is returning,” John Briggs, head of US rates strategy at NatWest Markets, told Bloomberg. “On a relative basis, she was certainly more hawkish” than other central bankers.

In 2.32pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.1 percent. In 2.17pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.1 percent. 

Earlier in the day the Dow rose to a record high 22,945.57, while the S&P 500 reached a record 2,559.47 and the Nasdaq climbed to a record 6,632.50.

US Treasuries fell, sending yields on the 10-year note two basis points higher to 2.29 percent. 

Investors are also eyeing a slew of corporate earnings scheduled for release this week including by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, General Electric, and Netflix.

Of the 32 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far, 84.4 percent beat earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.

“There is optimism on earnings, economic indicators and hopes of budget resolution.” Jeff Zipper, managing director at the US Bank Private Client Reserve in Palm Beach, Florida, told Reuters. 

The Dow climbed as gains in shares of JPMorgan Chase and those of Apple, recently up 2.1 percent and 1.6 percent respectively, outweighed slides in shares of Wal-Mart and those of American Express, recently down 1.5 percent and 1 percent respectively.

Shares of Nordstrom sank, down 5.9 percent at US$40.16 as of 2.31pm in New York, after the company said members of the Nordstrom family have “suspended active exploration, for the balance of the year, of the possibility of proposing a transaction to take the company private.”

In a statement, Nordstrom said “it intends to continue its efforts to explore the possibility of making a going private proposal after the conclusion of the holiday season.”

Earlier in the day Nordstrom shares fell as low as US$39.63.

“It’s difficult to make a case for private equity investing in these legacy retail companies when the play is really not about growing the company so much as right sizing it,” Neil Saunders, retail analyst at Global Data, told Reuters. 

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the session little changed from the previous close. Germany’s DAX Index rose 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 Index added 0.2 percent.

The UK’s FTSE 100 Index slipped 0.1 percent.



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