December 22, 2014
Banks lead Wall Street higher; cyclicals rally
US stocks rose today as data pointing to higher inflation lifted financial shares while high-growth tech names attracted renewed attention.
The S&P financial sector index was the day's biggest gainer, up 0.9 percent, though all cyclical sectors, which are tied to the pace of economic growth, outperformed for the day. E*Trade Financial was the S&P 500's top gainer, up 7.7 percent at $22, while Charles Schwab Corp climbed 5.5 percent to $27.30.
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent in May, the biggest gain in more than a year, pushing investors to sell some US government debt. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note shot up as high as 2.65 percent .
About 5.61 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data, above the month-to-date average of 5.36 billion.
US crude futures fell 0.5 percent to settle at $106.36 a barrel after President Barack Obama considered options for military action in response to a Sunni militant onslaught in Iraq. Market participants are closely monitoring the violence there, worried that it could lead to high oil prices for an extended period. Exxon Mobil Corp fell 0.5 percent to $102.42.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 27.48 points or 0.16 percent, to end at 16,808.49. The S&P 500 gained 4.21 points or 0.22 percent, to 1,941.99. The Nasdaq Composite added 16.13 points or 0.37 percent, to 4,337.23.
European stock markets rose to claw back ground lost in previous sessions, as new signs of possible takeover activity pushed up major healthcare and pharmaceutical stocks.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.3 percent at 1,387.75 points, after falling in the last two sessions down from a 6-1/2 year high of 1,398.65 points reached earlier in June.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index gained 0.4 percent to 3,275.33 points and Germany's DAX rose by the same margin to 9,920.32 points, having recently slipped from its June 10 record high of 10,033.74 points.
Healthcare stocks such as Novo Nordisk and its UK rival Shire added the most points to the FTSEurofirst 300.
Shire rose 3.5 percent after Reuters reported that the company had hired investment bank Citi as an adviser, expecting to receive takeover approaches following a wave of deals in the healthcare sector.