S&P 500 bends, doesn't break, as Trump doubles down on trade war

Markets can ignore Wall Street when they want to.

They’ve largely disregarded warnings from equity strategists at some of the biggest banks. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase this week cautioned about the dire effect of a full-blown trade war — fears stoked by news that President Donald Trump had instructed aides to impose additional tariffs on Chinese products. A week earlier, Citigroup and UBS said another pullback in US stocks may be in the offing.

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. Stocks rose for a fifth consecutive day, thanks to gains in the financial and information technology sectors.

Photo: Bloomberg

But the S&P 500 Index keeps churning higher. The benchmark rose 1.2 per cent in the five days through Friday to cap its longest winning streak since February. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.68 points, or 0.03 percent, to 26,154.67, the S&P 500 gained 0.8 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,904.98 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.67 points, or 0.05 percent, to 8,010.04.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes briefly hit the psychologically significant 3 per cent level for the first time in more than a month as prices on US government bonds fell on economic data that seems solid enough to support plans by the Federal Reserve to raise rates another two times in 2018.

The US dollar index rose 0.47 per cent. The greenback has been a safe haven from setbacks on the trade front. The Aussie dollar traded 0.58 per cent lower overnight at US71.53¢.

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