Published: Sun, January 12, 2020
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Stocks rise to record highs as tension with Iran eases

Stocks rise to record highs as tension with Iran eases

Investors also took comfort in signs that the US and Iran seem to be backing away from a near-term conflict after President Trump said no new USA military strikes would follow an Iranian missile barrage on Iraqi bases.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite were all trading in record territory after shrugging off Iran's missile attack on USA forces on Tuesday evening.

At 1:26 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 43.95 points, or 0.15%, at 28,912.95, the S&P 500 was up 1.96 points, or 0.06%, at 3,276.66. Japan's Nikkei led the way higher, closing up 2.3 percent while China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

President Trump has reassured that tensions with Iran won't escalate after Tehran fired more than a dozen missiles at American airbases in Iraq.

"We took a measured, proportionate response to the terrorist assassination of our top general, Qasem Soleimani last night".

USA economic data out Wednesday morning showed private-sector payrolls increased by 202,000 in December, topping the 160,000 that economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up 0.9% and 1.8%, respectively, for the week.

Technology stocks powered to the biggest gains in the S&P 500 and accounted for more than a third of the index's gain. The S&P 500 increased 21.65 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 3,274.70.

Treasurys slumped, causing the yield on the 10-year note to climb by 4.7 basis points to 1.87 percent.

"This report is not enough to move the market one way or the other".

Investors are looking ahead to Friday's government jobs report.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Asia jumped on the heels of Wednesday's rally, which really took hold after trading had closed in the region.

The US inventory market had a powerful finish of 2019 and was on observe for an important begin of the year till an escalation of stress between the US and Iran ship most shares decrease.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 gained 0.5% to 7,612 and Frankfurt's DAX rose 1.1% to 13,467. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 5 cents to settle at $59.56 a barrel.

Brent crude, used to price global oils, advanced 24 cents to $65.68 per barrel in London.

Smaller rival J.C. Penney Co Inc tumbled 11.3% after disappointing same-store sales numbers.

The greenback gained against major currencies for a third straight day after jobless claims fell by more than expected, adding to signs of economic strength ahead of the US payrolls report Friday.

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