Wall Street opens modestly higher following mixed U.S. data releases

Andrew Cummings
May 29, 2020

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 0.7% to 23,132.76, while the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.3% 2,846.22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung from a gain of 210 points to a loss of 147.63 by the close of trading, down 0.6% to 25,400.64.

In Europe markets finished higher, as Britain's FTSE-100 gained 1.21%, while France's CAC-40 climbed 1.76% and Germany's DAX rose 1.06%.

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said the US economy may already have bottomed.

Asian markets were mixed as tensions continue to heighten between the United States and China.

China's National People's Congress approved a bill imposing a new national security law that will bypass Hong Kong's own legislature.

The most recent developments over Hong Kong are another thorn in a relationship already testy over China's handling of the early stages of the coronavirus outbreaks and other antagonisms.

U.S. economic activity in the first quarter contracted at an annual rate of 5.0 percent in second estimate, 0.2 percentage point lower than advance estimate, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Thursday. On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Hong Kong was no longer autonomous, jeopardizing its special trade status. India's Sensex gained 1.6% to 32,114.81, despite news of another record increase in the number of new coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, projecting an upward spiral for the U.S. stocks in a near-term outlook, a Chief Market Economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York, Peter Cardillo said on the day's Wall St. closure, "It's all about liquidity and the hopes that the economy will eventually do well".

In the US, nine of the S&P 500's 11 sectors were higher, with utilities and health-care the best performers.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index jumped 2.3% to 21,916.31, lifted by the latest, $1.1 trillion, infusion of stimulus for Japan's moribund economy. Only energy and financial stocks declined.

Stocks gave up gains in late trading to finish slightly lower after Pres. Trump said he would hold a news conference on China tomorrow, with traders fearing he will announce sanctions.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds rose to 0.703%, from 0.677% on Wednesday, as investors sold government bonds.

US crude oil for delivery in July lost 91 cents to $31.90 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Bond yields move in the opposite direction from prices. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, was virtually flat at $35.43 per barrel.

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