US stocks pause after five-day rally; dollar rebounds

A commuter walks on Wall Street across from the New York Stock Exchange January 10, 2019. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Jan 12 — Wall Street ended little changed yesterday, taking a breather following a five-day winning streak, while the dollar rebounded against most currencies from earlier losses tied to expectations the US central bank is in no hurry to raise interest rates.

Earlier weakness in stocks and data showing a decline in US consumer prices in December stoked investor appetite for Treasuries, pushing their yields lower.

Stocks have rallied this week, helped by promises of patience from the Federal Reserve, the ECB mulling more cheap money, and progress in trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

“These risks seem more under cyontrol,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in New York.

Earlier yesterday, US stocks retreated as investors booked profits and reset positions ahead of the earnings season.

The initial pause came in the wake of a strong start to 2019, which lifted the S&P 500 by more than 10 per cent from a 20-month low it touched around Christmas.

With big US banks kicking off the fourth-quarter reporting season next week, investors will comb through earnings reports and projections for signs of a slowdown in economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 5.97 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 23,995.95, the S&P 500 lost 0.38 point, or 0.01 per cent, to 2,596.26 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.59 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 6,971.48.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.4 per cent, the S&P 500 added 2.54 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 3.45 per cent.

The pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark was up 0.09 per cent, bringing its weekly gain to 1.7 per cent.

MSCI’s all-country index, was flat at 473.26. It posted

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