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Markets’ rally stalls on signs of trouble

libadmin February 8, 2019

February 8 at 5:30 PM

U.S. equities eked out a gain as renewed concern over economic growth and trade disputes broke the momentum behind the market’s post-Christmas rally. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index ended the week with a gain of less than 0.1 percent at 2,707.88, leaving it up 15 percent from its Dec. 24 low. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.2 percent to 25,106. The Nasdaq gained 0.5 percent.

After a strong start to the week, the rally in equities faded as policymakers in Europe, Britain and Australia tamped down economic forecasts, stoking concern that global growth is slowing. At the same time, the prospects for an extension of the U.S. trade detente with China continued to fade.

Energy stocks lagged most among 11 S&P 500 groups, tumbling 3.3 percent for the week as oil prices sank from the highest level since November. Information technology stocks gained 1.8 percent, with chipmakers among the standouts after Microchip Technology signaled a sector downturn is nearing its end.

With more than two-thirds of S&P 500 companies having reported their most recent quarterly results, 72 percent have posted better-than-expected profits.

The Treasury will sell $45 billion of three-month bills and $39 billion of six-month bills Monday. They yielded 2.42 percent and 2.49 percent in when-issued trading. The government will also sell four-week bills and eight-week bills Thursday.

— Bloomberg News


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