May 28, 2017

Wall Street in Record Territory

Stocks jumped on Thursday, putting the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index within range of its highest close on record, after the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, once again said monetary policy will remain “accommodative” for some time.

In afternoon trading the S. P gained 1.1 percent to 1,670 points, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.9 percent, and the Nasdaq composite was 1.3 percent higher.

More than 85 percent of shares on the New York Stock Exchange were higher on Thursday, led by gains in materials and technology shares.

Mr. Bernanke sparked a rally in equity futures Wednesday night after he said that the United States unemployment rate of 7.6 percent overstated the health of the job market and noted inflation was still below the Fed’s target of 2 percent.

“His speech last night was much more dovish than most people anticipated,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, N.J. “The negative side of that is that they keep sending conflicting signals, and it does spasm the market up and down.”

Wall Street has recently rebounded from a sell-off begun in late May after Mr. Bernanke first raised the prospect of an earlier-than-expected reduction in the Fed’s bond buying program. By the June 24 close, the S. P. 500 had fallen 5.8 percent from its May 21 record closing high of 1,669.16 points.

Coming off the Fed chairman’s latest comments, the benchmark index is poised to retest that record.

The remarks spurred a rally in shares and bonds globally on Thursday. The dollar tumbled and commodities like gold and copper were bolstered. United States-listed shares of Barrick Gold climbed 7.6 percent while Freeport McMoRan Copper Gold gained 4.4 percent.

Advanced Micro Devices jumped 10.8 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded it to buy from underperform.

Celgene, up 6.7 percent, was among the top performers after the company said a late-stage trial of its cancer drug Revlimid met the main goal of improving survival in newly diagnosed blood cancer patients.

Microsoft rose 2.1 percent after the company announced a reorganization that it said will allow the software maker to deliver multiple devices and services as a single company.

European shares hit five-week highs, led by growth-sensitive stocks. The FTSEurofirst 300 index was 0.6 percent higher at the close. Earlier, Asian shares hit a near-four-week high, with the Shanghai composite index closing 3.2 percent higher.

The dollar, which had touched three-year highs before the Fed remarks on Wednesday, tumbled 1.2 percent against a basket of major currencies, while the euro roared to a three-week high of $1.3209 before falling to $1.3051.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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