Market Update & Important Indicators
Shares of Apple and other technology companies climbed intraday, putting major indexes on track to notch fresh records. Investors looking to eke out additional gains before the end of the year flocked to tech stocks, some money managers said, pushing shares in those businesses in the S&P 500 up more than 1% Tuesday. Tech firms, a big contributor to the market's rally this year, are on pace to post double-digit gains for the quarter. The market's recent upswing has helped offset losses suffered over the last two weeks among stocks in the Dow industrials and the S&P 500, underscoring the rally's strength amid concerns about lofty valuations and the unclear prospects for Republican tax-overhaul efforts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 179 points, or 0.8%, to 23610 in recent trading, while the S&P 500 gained 0.7%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1%. All three indexes were trading above their closing highs. The U.S. gold price traded higher overnight, adding 0.3% to close at 1,279.80 US$/oz.
European stocks closed higher, aided by gains for airline easyJet and car maker Volkswagen, as investors appeared to set aside concerns about the possibility of a new election in Germany. Equity markets in the region rose as major U.S. stock gauges rallied, with a leap in technology shares pushing the Nasdaq Composite Index to an all-time high. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.4% to end at 388.10, building on Monday's gain of 0.7%. The regional benchmark logged its highest close since Nov. 9, or nearly two weeks ago. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 index finished 0.8% higher at 13,167.54, while France's CAC 40 picked up 0.5% to 5,366.15. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to close at 7,411.34.
Asian stocks gained, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closing 1.9% higher and notching a near-10-year high during intraday trading. Chinese tech company Tencent gained 2.4%, with its share price having more than doubled this year and contributed to the Hang Seng's 35.5% gain in the same period. Indexes in Singapore and Taiwan rose around 1.1%, the latter on strength in tech and financials. Japan's Nikkei ended 0.7% higher after an earlier setback in the yen; the index had finished down seven days in the past nine following October's big gains. Chinese stocks rose, with the Shanghai Composite up 0.5% and the Shenzhen Composite up 1.4%.
Broad gains helped Australia's stock benchmark log its largest advance in more than a week. Amid rising markets regionally, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3% to 5963.5 with every sector up. That includes energy, following an overnight pullback in oil prices. Among notable movers, GrainCorp sank 4.9% after warning of a challenging year ahead for its grain business.
The London Metal Exchange’s 3-month copper contract traded higher overnight, gaining 1.2% to finish at $6,909/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Aluminium prices slipped 0.2% to 2,066/t, whilst zinc prices bounced 0.8% at 3,221/t. Lead prices added another 0.6% at 2,468/t, whilst nickel prices jumped 1.8% at 11,811/t. Tin prices were lower though, closing down 1.0% at 19,350/t.
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