December 14, 2017
Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dow, S&P hit records in volatile trading

US stocks edged up in a volatile session today, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting fresh record closing highs on an indication that the European Central Bank would take more policy action if needed to boost a struggling euro zone economy.

Major indexes fluctuated between positive and negative territory throughout the day. Cyclical shares, ones tied to the pace of economic growth, were among the strongest. But weak results from Qualcomm pressured chipmakers.

ECB President Mario Draghi indicated support for additional measures to bolster the euro zone economy if necessary and said the ECB governing council was unanimous in its commitment to using unconventional measures.

The defensive telecom and utilities sectors were the weakest on the day, off 0.8 and 1.8 percent, respectively. Industrial shares rose 1.1 percent as the strongest sector of the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 69.94 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,554.5, the S&P 500 gained 7.64 points, or 0.38 percent, to 2,031.2 and the Nasdaq Composite added 17.75 points, or 0.38 percent, to 4,638.47.

About 6 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, below the 7.3 billion average for the last five sessions.

NYSE advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,730 to 1,327, for a 1.30-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,557 issues rose and 1,121 fell for a 1.39-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The benchmark S&P 500 index posted 72 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 118 new highs and 61 new lows.

European shares pared early losses and ended higher after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank's governing council was unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional measures if needed.

Draghi said the ECB aims to increase the size of its balance sheet towards the levels of 2012, repeating language that had annoyed some policymakers.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.2 percent higher at 1,351.53 points. The benchmark index was down 0.4 percent before the start of Draghi's press briefing in the afternoon.

Weak economic data over the past few months have knocked back European stock markets from peak levels reached earlier in the year, putting pressure on the ECB to unveil fresh measures to support growth.

Further signs of frailty in the euro zone emerged today as data showed that industrial orders in Germany, its biggest economy, rose by only 0.8 percent in September.

Despite the market's rally, shares in Credit Agricole lost 5.8 percent after the lender posted a fall in revenues at home, blaming French government policy.

Meanwhile, Japanese stocks stepped back today as investors booked profits from recent gains.

The Nikkei benchmark dropped 0.9 percent to 16,792.48, snapping a run of outsized gains inspired by the Bank of Japan's enhanced easing of monetary policy.

Early advances for Toyota Motor Corp on the back of an earnings upgrade were wiped out, with stock in the world's largest auto-maker closing flat.

Bucking the trend was Suntory Beverage, which jumped 5.4 percent after releasing strong Jan-Sept profits.

The broader Topix slipped 1.1 percent to 1,365.35, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 lost 1.2 percent to 12,378.48.

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Tags:  Stocks  shares  FTSEurofirst  Nikkei  US  Dow Jones  

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