Monday, 17 February, 2020


Stocks cling to tiny gains

Stocks cling to tiny gains Stocks cling to tiny gains
Conrad Doyle | 16 January, 2020, 00:27

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to finish at 29,030.22, and the broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent to 3,289.30. The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, will report earnings on Wednesday and railroad operator CSX will report on Thursday. In addition, the promise of a "Phase 1" trade deal between the US and China has helped lift markets in recent weeks, easing investors' concerns of further escalation in the costly conflict. But the S&P ASX 200 climbed 0.5% and broke an intraday record high to 6,994.80.

The S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.19% to 3,289.3, its highest ever close.

"My guess is that it (bank earnings) is going to be more good news than bad news and a lot of that is driven by the kick up in demand across the board whether it's demand from consumers or corporates".

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) closed down 0.2% at 9,251.33. -China trade deal is set to be signed on Wednesday in Washington. Washington is expected to suspend planned tariff increases on Chinese imports in exchange for commitments by Beijing to step up orders of a range of USA products.

The Dow rose 0.1% to 28,939.67, while the Russell 2000 Small Business Index rose 0.4% to 1,675.74.

Gains extended after the US was reported to plan lifting the currency-manipulator label from China, a move that was confirmed after the market closed.

China has pledged to buy almost an additional $80 billion of manufactured goods from the United States over the next two years, and over $50 billion more in energy supplies, Reuters reported, citing a source briefed on the Phase 1 trade deal.

Delta Air Lines rose 3.3 percent after the company increased its fourth-quarter profit to $1.1 billion by adding more flights over the holiday period and packing them even more full of passengers.

Other European automobile stocks also fell after China's top auto body reiterated predictions that sales were likely to shrink for the third consecutive year in 2020.

President Trump and China's chief negotiator, Liu He, are scheduled to sign a modest trade agreement Wednesday that calls for the United States to ease some sanctions on China.

Yields on 10-year German bunds rose to -0.19%, while yields on the German two-year government bond hit a nine-month high ahead of the signing of the U.S.

The trade deal may only mark a "detente" in trade tensions, said Stephen Innes of AxiTrader.

Beijing, meanwhile, will step up its purchases of US farm products and other goods.

Wall Street expects corporate profits for S&P 500 companies in the last three months of 2019 to be down by 2%.

The February crude contract was down 68 cents at US$57.55 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was down 5.7 cents at US$2.13 per mmBTU. It rose 15 cents to $ 58.23 a barrel on Tuesday.

Brent crude settled down 78 cents at $64.20 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude slid 96 cents to settle at $58.08 a barrel.

Gold rebounded and won $ 8.00 to $ 1,552.60 per ounce. Treasury yields edged up, while the yen fell past 110 per dollar.

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