June 18, 2013
Wall Street ends slightly higher, Dow near a record
Stocks closed modestly higher today, putting the Dow within striking distance of an all-time high, as investors looked ahead to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 47.46 points, or 0.34 percent, at 14,018.70. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was up 2.42 points, or 0.16 percent, at 1,519.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 5.51 points, or 0.17 percent, at 3,186.49..
European shares traded modestly higher today, struggling for clear direction, as strategists weighed in on whether the recent rally still has further to run.
Britain's Barclays saw solid gains after announcing hefty job cuts, while auto-related stocks came under pressure on the back of downbeat earnings.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1 percent at 1,155.15, having traded within a narrow 4-point range in the wake of the previous session's 0.7 percent drop. The index has slipped around 2 percent from a two-year closing high reached on January 29.
Strategists indicated that the recent retreat by stocks looked more like a pause than the start of a serious correction, with the asset class attractive, particularly against a backdrop of low interest rates and below-inflation bond yields.Japan's Nikkei share average rebounded today, boosted by financials after a US Treasury official voiced support for Japan's aggressive policies to combat deflation and bolster growth, while a softer yen propped up some exporters.
Investors shrugged off reports that North Korea had likely launched a nuclear test during Tokyo's midday break, although stocks pared gains slightly through the afternoon as the yen dropped back below 94 to the dollar from a 33-month high of 94.42.
The benchmark rose 1.9 percent to 11,369.12, within reach of a 33-month high of 11,498.42 struck last Wednesday. The benchmark has risen 31 percent since mid-November.
The broader Topix gained 1.2 percent to 968.50 in relatively active trade, with 4.12 billion shares changing hands, less than any day last week.