Stocks climbed Wednesday as Wall Street posted a second straight day of gains in the new year and the Dow once again approached the 20,000 milestone.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 60 points, or 0.3%, to 19,942.16. The blue-chip index rose has come close to topping 20,000 several times in recent weeks but each time it gets near has pulled back. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.6% and the Nasdaq composite index gained 0.9%. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are near their record closing highs.
Stocks maintained their gains following the release of the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting that provided clues to why policymakers raised interest rates in December for only the second time since 2006 and forecast three rate hikes in 2017 instead of the two moves previously anticipated.
Fed officials said they might have to raise interest rates faster than anticipated to prevent rapidly falling unemployment and President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal stimulus from fueling excessive inflation, according to minutes of the Fed’s December 13-14 meeting.
Benchmark U.S. crude was up 1.8% to $53.24 a barrel in New York. It lost $1.39 on Tuesday.
What a difference a year makes. The U.S. stock market kicked off the first day of trading of 2017 with solid gains, a year after plunging in the opening session of 2016 on its way to its worst week to start a year ever.
The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index — which closed up 0.9% to 2258 — posted a gain on the first trading day of a new year for the first time since 2013. Last year, the large-company stock index cratered 1.53% on January’s first trading session — its sixth-worst Day 1 percentage loss and worst annual kickoff since 2001 — on its way to a worst-ever first week of the year decline of 5.96%, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. The S&P 500, however, rebounded and finished 2016 up 9.5%.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much 176 points before pulling back and finishing up 119 points, or 0.6%, to 19,882. The blue-chip index came within 105 points of 20,000 after a late-year flirtation with the milestone fell short. The technology-packed Nasdaq rose 0.9% and the small-company Russell 2000 stock index, which gained 19.5% in 2016, finished up 0.5%.
Stocks sank on the last trading day of 2016, with the Dow now 237 points short of the 20,000 milestone that it came closest to hitting on Dec. 20.
It was merely a weak end to a very strong year, however, with the S&P 500 gaining 9.5% and the small-company Russell 2000 jumping 19.5% for 2016.
For the day, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.3%, off 57 points to 19,762.60. But for 2016, the blue chips gained 13.4%.
The S&P 500 ended 0.5% lower for the day, while the Nasdaq composite fell 0.9%
Global stocks mostly rose on the year’s last day of trading, with Britain’s index rallying to hit another all-time high. The FTSE 100, which was trading for only a half day, rose 0.3%. That leaves the index 14.4% higher over 2016. Elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 0.3%, while France’s CAC 40 gained 0.5%.
Major stock indexes veered higher in afternoon trading Tuesday, nudging the Nasdaq into record territory and the Dow Jones industrial averagecloser to the 20,000-point mark.
The Dow ended up less than 0.1% an 11-point climb to 19,945.04. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.5% to a new all-time closing high of 5487.44.
Gaining 0.2% was the S&P 500.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index climbed to 113.7 in December, up from 109.4 in November and the highest since it reached 114 in August 2001. The latest reading is another sign consumers are confident in the aftermath of a divisive election campaign.
U.S. stocks ended lower Thursday as health care companies took more losses and investors’ Dow 20,000 watch goes on.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished 0.1% lower, down 23 points to 19,918.88, and 81 short of the never-reached 20,000 level. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite lost 0.2 % and 0.4%, respectively.
Alibaba (BABA) fell 2.8% after the U.S. government put the Chinese e-commerce company back on a list of marketplaces that sell large amounts of counterfeit goods and is slow to respond when companies complain about knockoffs. Chinese regulators have made similar criticisms.
Benchmark U.S. crude gained about 0.9% to $52.95 a barrel in New York. Energy companies made modest gains.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.56% from 2.54%.
The dollar dipped to 117.43 yen from 117.54 yen. The euro rose to $1.0455 from $1.0427.
Stocks in Europe were also quiet. The DAX in Germany lost 0.2% and France’s CAC-40 fell less than 0.2%. In Britain, the FTSE 100 got a 0.1% lift. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1% lower and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.8%. The South Korean Kospi fell 0.1%.
Stocks ended slightly lower Wednesday but the major indexes remain near record levels and the Dow is still within striking distance of the big 20,000 milestone.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended down about 32 points, or 0.2% after rising as high as 19,986.56 in the opening minutes of trade. The Dow jumped 91.56 points Tuesday to close at a record 19,974.62.
It’s now at 19,941.96 — about 58 points shy of 20,000.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended down 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite lost 0.2% as it retreated from its record close of 5483.94.
Investors were once again watching the Dow in its ongoing quest for the psychologically-important 20,000 mark as the blue-chip index has made several attempts to break through but each time has fallen just short. The index has rallied strongly since the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president amid hopes that the incoming administration will be kind to business and back more spending on such things as infrastructure.
Oil prices were lower as benchmark U.S. crude fell 1.5% to $52.49 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.54% from 2.56% late Tuesday.
Global stock markets were trading in narrow ranges Wednesday.
European markets were mixed as Britain’s FTSE 100 fell less than 0.1% and Germany’s DAX gained less than 0.1%. France’s CAC-40 fell 0.3%.
After coming within 13 points of 20,000, the Dow Jones industrial average fell shy of the milestone but still notched a fresh all-time high.
The Dow closed up 91.56 points, or 0.5%, and closed at its 17th record closing high since Election Day at 19,974.62, or less than 25 points shy of 20,000. During the session it notched an intraday record high of 19,987.63 in morning trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 0.4% and closed at 2270.76, just shy of its record closing high. The Nasdaq composite index hit a record close of 5483.94, after rising 26.50 points, or 0.5%, to 5483.94.
The blue-chip index has made several attempts to break through the 20,000 mark but each time it’s fallen just short. The index has rallied strongly since the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president amid hopes that the incoming administration will be kind to business and back more spending on such things as infrastructure.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.57% from 2.54%. Bond yields have jumped to longtime highs over the last few months but they fell sharply yesterday. Higher yields allow banks to charge more money for loans, so financial firms traded higher. Goldman Sachs (GS) added 1.7% and Bank of America (BAC) gained 1%.
Benchmark U.S. crude gained 11 cents to $52.23 per barrel in New York.