A pedestrian gestures as he looks at an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

Stocks Push Higher; Dollar Reaches 3-Month Peak: Markets Wrap

Subscribe to Bloomberg | Quint
The Daily Newsletter
News & Stock Alerts

(Bloomberg) -- Most U.S. stocks closed higher after swinging between gains and losses while investors mulled the implications of rising U.S. bond yields and disappointing earnings. The dollar resumed its rally, climbing to the highest in three months.

“We’re going to have to continue this back and forth because the question is going to be throughout the year whether or not and at what level are rates too high for the economy,” Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co., said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters.

Tech weakness sent the Nasdaq Composite to its fifth straight loss, the longest slide since 2016. Disappointing earnings weighed on some of the biggest names in tech, with Twitter dropping more than 4 percent as analysts questioned its pace of growth. The greenback strengthened against almost every major peer, with the euro among the losers a day before the European Central Bank’s next rate decision.

Upward momentum in the dollar looks set to force a rethink on many of the most popular trades just now, giving equity investors yet another factor to grapple with after rising yields and threats to global trade roiled markets. They had been looking to earnings for some cheer, but even good earnings results have failed to inspire a pick up in equities, causing worries over peak growth to materialize.

“The sharp sell-off in rates has hijacked market sentiment,” Mark McCormick, the North American head of foreign-exchange strategy at Toronto-Dominion Bank, wrote in a note to clients. “The 3% level on the U.S. 10-year does not have any magical properties, but market participants are trying to navigate a global markets regime shift with a toolkit of mostly unstable correlations.”

Wednesday’s moves weren’t entirely risk-off, however, and established safe-haven assets including gold and the yen retreated.

Elsewhere, most industrial metals declined. Emerging-market currencies mostly weakened, led by South Africa’s rand. Turkey’s lira reversed a gain even as the central bank raised one of its lending rates.

These are some important events coming up this week:

  • U.S. GDP data are due Friday.
  • Earnings season continues. Among those reporting: Amazon.com and Samsung.
  • The European Central Bank has a rate decision on Thursday. Investors will watch for any sign that officials are preparing a shift in stimulus plans for their June meeting.
  • The Bank of Japan announces its latest policy decision Friday and releases a quarterly outlook report.
  • The leaders of North and South Korea meet Friday.

Terminal users can read more in our markets live blog.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index rose 0.2 percent to 2,639.39 as of 4:02 p.m. New York time, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2 percent to 24,082.66 and the Nasdaq Composite Index was little changed at 7,003.74.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.8 percent on the largest decrease in more than a month, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.7 percent.
  • The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.6 percent, the first retreat in more than a week.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 1.1 percent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.4 percent to the highest in almost 15 weeks.
  • The euro declined 0.5 percent to $1.2172, the weakest in almost 15 weeks.
  • The British pound decreased 0.3 percent to $1.3933, touching the the weakest level in almost six weeks.
  • The Japanese yen dipped 0.5 percent to 109.34 per dollar, after hitting the weakest in 11 weeks with its sixth straight decline.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 3.02 percent, reaching the highest in more than four years on its eighth straight advance.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.63 percent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 1.54 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2 percent to $67.94 a barrel.
  • Gold declined 0.6 percent to $1,322.76 an ounce. 

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg
Follow The Latest On The Global Economy On BloombergQuint
Subscribe to Bloomberg | Quint
The Daily Newsletter
News & Stock Alerts