Markets Right Now: Dow, S&P 500 notch record highs

17 September, 2017, 06:58 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • The S&P 500 Index powered past 2,500 for the first time taking out its third round-number milestone of the year as the

US crude oil finished unchanged at $49.89 a barrel in NY.

Gold fell after a European Central Bank official called for scaling back the bank's stimulus program. Industrial production and retail sales figures are due Friday, which could provide more hints on whether the Fed, which meets next week, will remain on track to raise rates by the end of the year. Additionally, North Korea threatened to reduce the U.S.to "ashes and darkness" and sink Japan, leaving the Nikkei in the red.

Interest rates are lower than at the beginning of the year which makes stocks more attractive, as does a back-drop of a growing global economy, said Rahul Shah, chief executive of Ideal Asset Management in NY. "Without a spike in inflation, or a fall in profitability, a significant de-rating of USA valuations appears unlikely". "The market can go a lot higher", Morris said.

Some of the big tech companies that form a large part of the indexes offer above-average growth at reasonable valuations, he said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said continued provocations would only deepen North Korea's diplomatic and economic isolation. "But in terms of the actual commission of those threats, I don't think it's destabilising to the market".

The benchmark gained 0.2 percent to 2,500.23 Friday, capping its biggest weekly advance since January, as technology shares rebounded and banks climbed with Treasury yields.

At 9.39am ET (9.39pm Singapore time), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 28.81 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 22,232.29, the S&P 500 was down 0.45 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 2,495.17.

The semiconductor index surged 1.6 percent, boosted by Nvidia's near 6 percent jump to a record high after Evercore ISI raised its price target on the stock. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has tumbled by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index is just below the unchanged line.

Before the start of trading, the Commerce Department released a report showing retail sales dipped by 0.2% in August after rising by a downwardly revised 0.3% in July.

Retailers were also expected to come under a bit of pressure after retail sales figures for August fell 0.2%, thanks to a 1.6% decline in sales at auto dealers; strip these out and retail sales rose 0.2%. Data released Thursday showed USA consumer prices rose in August at their fastest pace in seven months, a possible sign inflation is picking up pace. Friday also marked the first time the index broke above 2,500.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed at a record.

Stocks in the United Kingdom slumped to a four-month low and the pound rose to its highest level since mid-2016, after Bank of England officials confirmed they are close to raising interest rates for the first time in a decade. The "control group", which excludes volatile items like gasoline stations sales, food, auto and building material sales fell 0.2% MoM versus predictions of a 0.2% gain. The Nasdaq composite added 19.38 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,448.47.

The dollar index fell 0.37 percent, while the euro EUR= up 0.34 percent to $1.1958.

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