S&P 500 near 5,000; Treasury yields rise after auction

Feb 9, 2024

By Chris Prentice and Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Wall Street’s major indexes rose on Thursday with the S&P hovering near the 5,000-point milestone as investors reacted to earnings reports and U.S. jobs data, and the U.S. dollar gained.

European equities slipped and U.S. Treasury yields rose after a 30-year bond auction.

Oil prices jumped on concerns of a broadening Middle East conflict.

The number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits dipped to 218,000 during the week ended Feb. 3, compared with economists’ forecast of 220,000, data showed.

Both U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank policymakers, as well as those in some big emerging markets, have been pushing back against expectations of rapid rate cuts as they gauge whether inflation has been adequately tamed.

The likelihood of a Fed rate cut in March slipped 2-1/2 percentage points from Wednesday to 16.5%, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool. The probability a week ago was 36.5%.

“We continue to get positive surprises in the U.S. and we’re not getting enough positive surprises in the rest of the world, and certainly not in China,” said Thierry Wizman, global FX and interest rates strategist at Macquarie in New York.

The dollar index gained 0.1% at 104.13, with the euro up 0.05% at 1.0776 and the euro <gained 0.05% at 1.0776.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48.97 points, or 0.13%, to 38,726.33, the S&P 500 gained 2.85 points, or 0.06%, to 4,997.91 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 37.07 points, or 0.24%, to 15,793.72.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 nations, eased 0.02%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index turned down to close 0.1% lower. Losses in healthcare heavyweights offset gains spurred by strong corporate updates from consumer staples stocks like Unilever and luxury major Kering.

The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year notes rose 5.6 basis points to 4.154%, from 4.098% late on Wednesday.

The 30-year bond yield rose 4.5 basis points to 4.3541% from 4.309% late on Wednesday.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures gained 3.05% to $76.11 a barrel and Brent crude rose to $81.48 per barrel. [O/R]

Spot gold lost 0.04% to $2,033.39 an ounce and U.S. gold futures settled 0.2% lower at $2,047.90.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei surged 2.1% to close at its highest level in 34 years, helped in part by dovish BOJ comments.

The Shanghai composite index posted its biggest weekly gain since November 2022 and the CSI blue-chip index also rose, with investors welcoming Wednesday’s announcement of leadership change at the top of China’s market regulator. [.SS]

Data showed China’s consumer price index was down 0.8% in January from a year earlier, the biggest drop since 2009, although on a monthly basis, CPI rose 0.3%, picking up from the previous month.

(Additional reporting by Herbert Lash and Karen Brettell in New York, andMarc Jones in London; Editing by Nick Macfie, Kirsten Donovan and David Gregorio)

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