S&P 500 edges lower in volatile trade, while dollar drops to two-week low
By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was down slightly in volatile trading while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe was barely higher on Wednesday, pausing after recent gains, while the dollar dropped to two-week lows. Major U.S.
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was down slightly in volatile trading while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe was barely higher on Wednesday, pausing after recent gains, while the dollar dropped to two-week lows.
Major U.S. stock indexes hit record highs at the opening before losing gains.
Twitter Inc shares were up 7.8%, a day after the company beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales and profit and followed its social media peers to forecast a strong start to 2021 as ad spending rebounds from a rock bottom.
Bets on more fiscal aid have powered Wall Street's main indexes to a series of all-time peaks recently, with investors moving into sectors such as energy, banks and industrials that are poised to benefit from a recovering economy.
President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he agreed with a proposal by Democratic lawmakers that would send $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans earning up to $75,000 and households making up to $150,000.
Earnings contributed to earlier optimism in equities markets, with French bank Societe Generale among those beating fourth-quarter profit expectations.
"Although visibility isn't great into the future, the analysts are extrapolating that into higher earnings throughout this year than may be what folks had feared six months ago," said Eric Marshall, portfolio manager and head of research at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas.
Executives from Robinhood, Melvin Capital and Citadel Securities are expected to testify before a U.S. House of Representatives panel at a Feb. 18 hearing exploring trading turmoil in GameStop Corp and other stocks, according to a Reuters report citing two sources familiar with the matter.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.56 points, or 0%, to 31,377.39, the S&P 500 lost 5.69 points, or 0.15%, to 3,905.54 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 56.23 points, or 0.4%, to 13,951.47.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.25% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.13%.
Bitcoin, meanwhile, consolidated recent gains on Wednesday, trading 3.7% lower at $44,799. It hit a new high of $48,216 on Tuesday following Tesla's disclosure of a $1.5 billion investment in the virtual currency.
In the foreign exchange market, the dollar index fell 0.13%, with the euro up 0.12% to $1.2131.
The dollar was weighed down by U.S. data showing tepid inflation.
Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields also tumbled, as the U.S. data showed that inflation stayed benign in January, disappointing investors betting that price pressures would increase more.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index increased 0.3% last month after climbing a revised 0.2% in December.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 4/32 in price to yield 1.1431%, from 1.157% late on Tuesday.
Oil rose, extending its rally for a ninth day, its longest winning streak in two years, supported by producer supply cuts and hopes vaccine rollouts will drive a recovery in demand.
Brent crude was up 30 cents, or 0.5%, at $61.39 after touching a 13-month high of $61.61 earlier in the session. U.S. crude was up 22 cents, or 0.3%, to $58.57, having touched $58.76, also a 13-month high.
(Additional reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft in London; Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Larry King and Steve Orlofsky)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.