December 12, 2017
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wall Street rallies, S&P back above 14-day moving average

US stocks jumped in a broad advance today, with the S&P 500 snapping a three-day losing streak and climbing back above a key technical level in a move that pointed to improving near-term momentum.

The day's gains were spread across industries, with nine of the ten primary S&P 500 sectors up on the day, though healthcare and biotechnology stocks led the gains. Housing stocks also rose following bullish data on the sector.

The S&P posted its biggest one-day advance in more than a month and closed above its 14-day moving average, which it had ended under for the previous two sessions. The day's advance continues a long-running trend of investors buying on dips.

At its session low, the benchmark index neared its 50-day moving average before rebounding. If that level continues to serve as support, it could provide a floor against deeper equity losses. The S&P hasn't had a correction, defined as a 10 percent decline from a peak, since 2012.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 155.6 points, or 0.91 percent, to 17,211.47, the S&P 500 gained 15.65 points, or 0.79 percent, to 1,998.42 and the Nasdaq Composite added 46.53 points, or 1.03 percent, to 4,555.22.

In the meantime, the Milan stock exchange outperformed a broad rally on European equity markets today after data showed that Italian consumer confidence had risen for the first time in four months.

Encouraging comments by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi also supported the markets, enabling them to overcome the drag of weak German economic data and tepid results from Dutch group TNT.

Speaking in a French radio interview, Draghi said the ECB would keep monetary policy loose for as long as it took to push up euro zone inflation from near zero towards the ECB target of just under 2 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up by 0.8 percent 1,385.77 points. Milan's FTSE MIB equity index rose 1.7 percent after Italian consumer confidence rose in September.

Even though German business sentiment dropped for a fifth straight month in September to its lowest since April 2013, many traders said expectations of new stimulus measures from the ECB were helping to offset the discouraging data.

Europe's faltering economy was reflected by some weak corporate updates. Dutch logistics company TNT Express tumbled 9.6 percent after warning that low growth in Europe would hit margins in the third quarter. It also announced it was setting aside 50 million euros to settle an anti-competitiveness investigation by French authorities.

The FTSEurofirst 300 hit a peak of 1,410.93 points this month - its highest since early 2008 - and the index remains up by about 5 percent since the start of 2014.

In Asia, Japanese shares stepped back on Wednesday, after US air strikes in Syria dampened risk sentiment and curbed the yen's fall - the main driver of the market's rally in the past several weeks.

Returning on Tuesday from a market holiday, the Nikkei average fell 0.2 percent to 16,167.45, though the fall was limited partly because of buying ahead of Thursday, which is half-year dividend record date for many Japanese shares. The broader Topix fell 0.3 percent while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 dipped 0.3 percent.

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Tags:  Stocks  shares  FTSEurofirst  Nikkei  US  Dow Jones  

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