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%.
The Global Dow Index is running into its long-term Down trendline stemming from the 2007 all-time peak.
Here in the U.S., equity investors have been a bit spoiled as they’ve watched index after index break into all-time high ground this year. Around the globe, investors have not been so lucky. Yes, most international indices have rallied solidly this year. However, with few exceptions, the rallies have still left these international markets shy of their all-time highs. One illustration of this situation can be seen in a chart of the Global Dow Index (GDOW).
We’ve posted many times on the GDOW due to its reliable conformity to technical charting tools, despite the fact that very little money is traded off of it. Additionally, we have found it to be an accurate barometer of the state of the global equity market. Specifically, the GDOW is an equally-weighted index of 150 of the world’s largest stocks. While this includes U.S.-based companies, its heavy dose of international exposure has led to its aforementioned position below its all-time high.
Furthermore, it is currently running into potential resistance in the form of its post-2007 Down trendline connecting the 2007, 2014 and 2015 tops.
With all eyes desperately urging The Dow to cross 20,000 and prove that everything in the world of Trumplandia is awesome, we thought some reflection on another major milestone in the omnipresent Stock Index would be worthwhile…
As The New York Times reported 44 years ago… The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 1,000 mark yesterday for the first time in history.
It finished at 1,003.16 for a gain of 6.09 points in what many Wall Streeters consider the equivalent of the initial breaking of the four-minute mile.
“This thing has an obvious psychological effect,” declared one brokerage-house partner. “It’s a hell of a news item. As for the perminence of it — well, I just don’t know.”
The Dow finally put it all together, the peace rally, the re-election of President Nixon, the surging economy, booming corporate profits and lessening fears about inflation and taxes and controls and other uncertainties of 1973.
With such kingpin issues leading the forward surge, the market fed on its own momentum. The Dow forged past 1,000 at 1:30 P.M. and it kept gaining almost consistently until the final bell.
At 3:29 P.M., red light bars flashed on above and below each of the time clocks surrounding the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. This was the traditional visual signal to show that one minute of training time remained. At the same moment, a bell began clanging on the speaker’s rostrum – the auditory warning.
Traders, brokers and clerks on the floor – aware that history was in the making – broke into cheers that lasted about 20 seconds. Some paper was tossed in the air and drifted down like confetti.
Several hundred persons on the floor then turned to face newsreel cameras grinding away on the member’s gallery, some brokers waving like fans at a football game.
An office broker, watching the stock tape from his desk downtown, murmured in wonderment: “There’s a sort of renewed confidence in the whole economic outlook.”
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%.
Stocks closed slightly higher Monday with technology and industrial companies rising but the Dow Jones industrial average once again was unable to breach the 20,000 mark.
The Dow Jones index, which closed last week at 19,843.41, 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.
“I would be surprised if we’re not trading above 20,000 before the end of the year,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. “The Trump rally has stalled a little in recent sessions but so far, I’m seeing few signs that we’re going to see the year out on a negative note.”
The Dow rose 39.65 points, or 0.2%, to close at 19,883.06. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 0.2% to 2262.53 and the Nasdaq composite added 0.4% to 5457.44.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slid to 2.53% from 2.60% late Friday. That sent interest rates lower and affects the profits banks make from mortgages and other loans. Bank of America shed 1.1% and MetLife sank 2%.
Government bond yields have climbed recently. Last week the yield on the 10-year note rose to its highest level in more than two years.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.1% while Germany’s DAX gained 0.2%. The CAC-40 in France was 0.2% lower.
Stocks lost steam Friday as the Dow failed in another attempt at topping the 20,000 mark for the first time ever.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost less than 0.1%, down 8 points to finish at 19,843.41. The S&P 500 fell 0.2%, while the Nasdaq composite shed 0.4%.
After an initial jolt from the Fed’s interest rate hike decision this week, markets adjusted to the prospect of more increases that policymakers signaled were in store as they move to “normalize” interest rates. The Fed raised rates for only the second time in a decade and hinted three more hikes are on the way in 2017, rattling markets used to ultralow borrowing costs that have fueled a multiyear stock boom. The Fed’s move now shifts the focus from central bank policy to economic growth as the driver of stock market performance.
Bond yields gave up some of their big gains from the last few days.The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.58% from 2.60% late Thursday, putting at least a temporary halt to its strong rally since last month’s presidential election.
The waiting game for Dow 20,000 continues — even after the Fed’s Wednesday announcement of a rate hike — as the blue chip stock gauge failed to hit the market milestone after flirting with history in the previous trading session.
Stocks treaded water till the Fed’s announcement of a quarter-point hike, which came two hours before the 4 p.m. ET market close. The major indexes seesawed, climbing and then losing steam.
The Dow slid 0.6% — down 119 points. It’s about 207 shy of that never-reached 20,000 milestone.
Down by a larger amount was the S&P 500, which shed 0.8%. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.5%.
The Dow, arguably the world’s best-known stock market barometer that’s been around since 1896 and which is made up of 30 of America’s best-known blue chip companies, climbed as high as 19,953.75 Tuesday before paring some gains and closing up 114.78 points to 19,911.21.