Markets Right Now: Stocks down slightly after hitting record

Andrew Cummings
June 23, 2019

Wall Street capped a broad rally for stocks Thursday by driving the S&P 500 index to an all-time high. That's about seven points above its record high close on April 30. The major US stock indexes are up more than 7% so far this month.

Those worries prompted traders to shift money into safe-haven assets this week, such as gold and USA government bonds.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.06% from Thursday's 2%.

Banks climbed as long-term bond yields rose, which makes it easier for banks to charge higher interest rates on mortgages and other kind of loans.

The price of gold, meanwhile, jumped 3.6%.

"Having an accommodative interest rate outlook is a positive for the markets, but now investors are looking for direction on trade", said Christopher O'Keefe, portfolio manager at Logan Capital Management in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Crude oil prices soared after Iran announced it had shot down a US military drone, caused investors to fear for future oil supplies. Crude prices had been in a bear market just weeks ago, what Wall Street calls a drop of 20% or more.

At 9:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 241.66 points, or 0.91%, at 26,745.66 and the S&P 500 was up 28.07 points, or 0.96%, at 2,954.53. The Nasdaq composite fell 19.63 points, or 0.2%, to 8,031.71.

Major stock indexes in Europe also finished higher. US officials said the drone had not violated Iranian airspace. That's been a marked reversal from May, when jitters over the escalating trade conflict between Washington and Beijing derailed the market's strong start to the year.

Healthcare stocks notched solid gains. The company also blew past forecasts for sales at established auto lots as more customers purchased used vehicles.

"The market is also banking on good trade news out of the G-20 next week".

The S&P index recorded 15 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 35 new highs and 43 new lows. United Rentals climbed 3.4%.

Energy stocks made big gains on a surge in oil prices. Noble Energy gained 6.2%.

USA crude settled up 0.6 per cent at $57.43 a barrel, and Brent settled at $65.20, up 1.2 per cent. Brent crude oil, the worldwide standard, gave up 12 cents to $64.33 per barrel.

The biggest uncertainty looming over the market remains the U.S. The drone shooting follows an attack last week on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has signaled that it is willing to cut interest rates to stabilize the US economy if the trade war crimps growth.

Government bond yields in the United States and Europe fell following the Fed's decision, with the USA 10-year note yield dropping below 2% for the first time in 2-1/2 years. Many investors and economists are hopeful about a future rate cut helping the U.S. stock market.

Traders work on the floor during the Slack Technologies Inc. Shares edged higher in Taiwan and Thailand but fell in Singapore.

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