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While you were sleeping: DJ Khaled lifts Weight Watchers

Wednesday 3rd January 2018

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Wall Street and commodity prices gained, while the US dollar and Treasuries declined, amid optimism about the economic outlook and corporate profits. 

In 1.17pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.2 percent. In 1.02pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.6 percent. 

US Treasuries dropped, sending yields on the 10-year note seven basis points higher to 2.48 percent.

“It is seasonally a very good time for equities as new money comes into work,” John Brady, senior vice president at futures brokerage RJ O‘Brien & Associates in Chicago, told Reuters.

“It seems as if most economists have raised their GDP forecasts for 2018, and we’re going to get some form of a fiscal stimulus into an economy that has a tight labour market. The market is pricing all of this in,” according to Brady.

The Dow moved higher as gains in shares of Walt Disney and those of General Electric, recently up 3.6 percent and 2.6 percent respectively, outweighed declines in shares of Travelers and those of Procter & Gamble, down 2.2 percent and 1.1 percent recently respectively.

Shares of Weight Watchers jumped, trading 6.2 percent higher as of 1.07pm in New York, after the company said music magnate, producer and recording artist DJ Khaled joined as a social media ambassador.

"DJ Khaled has an incredibly authentic drive and passion to inspire others through his wellness journey and experiences on WW Freestyle,” Mindy Grossman, chief executive officer, said in a statement. WW Freestyle is a new program, introduced last month, with an advertising campaign featuring Oprah Winfrey.

Investors will scrutinise the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s December meeting, slated for release on Wednesday, while the latest US jobs data are also due this week in the form of the ADP employment report and weekly jobless claim  on Thursday and the government’s nonfarm payrolls on Friday. 

Fed officials might offer hints on the path for interest rates, with James Bullard speaking on Thursday, followed by John Williams, Patrick Harker, and Loretta Mester on Friday.

While the Fed has flagged three interest rate increases this year, the greenback might languish as the global economic outlook brightens, spurring gains in commodity prices. 

“Commodities have been rallying across the board, and that’s putting some pressure on the [US] dollar,” Brad Bechtel, a currency strategist at Jefferies, told Bloomberg. “It’s a tough road ahead for the dollar.”

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a 0.2 percent drop from the previous close. Germany’s DAX Index retreated 0.4 percent, while France’s CAC40 Index fell 0.5 percent, and the UK’s FTSE 100 index also slid 0.5 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

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