A pedestrian is reflected in an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Tokyo. (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

U.S. Stocks See Best Quarterly Gain in Five Years: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks ended virtually unchanged to cap the best quarterly advance in five years. The dollar edged higher.

The S&P 500 Index saw the best quarter since 2013, even as the benchmark experienced its first weekly loss in three weeks. Financial shares paced losses, while technology firms led gains. Facebook shares declined more than 2 percent after the tech giant said a security breach affected about 50 million users. Tesla Inc. tumbled the most in five years after securities regulators filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk’s carmaker.

Oil had the longest run of weekly gains in four months as energy giants to Wall Street banks predicted the return of $100 crude on an impending supply crunch. The dollar erased earlier gains after data showed U.S. consumer spending cooled in August, while the 10-year Treasury yield traded near 3.05 percent.

U.S. Stocks See Best Quarterly Gain in Five Years: Markets Wrap

“When you look underneath the surface and you look at the market, this year has been a year when the market has just frankly been resilient,” Jay Gragnani, head of research at Nasdaq Dorsey Wright, said by phone. “There’s lots of talks of trade wars between China and the Canadian discussion. If you haven’t paid attention to the market, it certainly hasn’t felt like a very good year, but really you look underneath the surface and you’ve seen some pretty decent gains.”

In Europe, Italy’s populists won their battle to fund costly campaign promises, while infighting over Brexit is embroiling the U.K.’s Conservative Party. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated, led by a plunge in Italian shares as the country’s benchmark headed for the biggest drop in more than two years. The nation’s yields climbed the most in four months after the government set a wider budget deficit than some investors had anticipated.

The yen’s slide to the weakest level this year helped stoke Japanese stocks as Asian equities advanced from Sydney to Shanghai.

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These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 was unchanged at 2,913.93 as of 4 p.m. in New York. The measure rallied more than 7 percent in the third quarter.
  • The Nasdaq composite rose less than 0.1 percent, while small caps advanced.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 0.8 percent.
  • Italy’s FTSE MIB Index sank 3.7 percent, the most in more than two years.
  • Emerging-market stocks fell 0.4 percent.


Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
  • The euro decreased 0.3 percent to $1.1612.
  • The British pound fell 0.3 percent to $1.3039.
  • The Japanese yen dropped 0.2 percent at 113.60 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 3.05 percent.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield decreased six basis points to 0.46 percent, the largest tumble in four months.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield sank four basis points to 1.556 percent.
  • Japan’s 10-year yield climbed one basis point to 0.13 percent.
  • Italy’s 10-year yield jumped 33 basis points to 3.216 percent, the highest in four weeks on the biggest surge in four months.


Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude increased 1.7 percent to $73.34 a barrel.
  • Gold gained 0.8 percent to $1,192.25 an ounce.
  • Copper rose 0.8 percent to $2.80 a pound.

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