July 23rd, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street hangs around its record highs

By Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press on June 18, 2024.

FILE - Trader William Lovesick, right works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, June 12, 2024. Shares have opened mixed in Europe on Monday, June 17, 2024, as markets recovered from shocks of recent elections across the region. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks are drifting around their record highs following the latest signal that the economy’s growth may be slowing without cratering, as hoped. The S&P 500 was little changed early Tuesday, a day after setting a record for the 30th time this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was also little changed, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.1%. Stocks got some help from easing yields in the bond market. Treasury yields fell after a report showed sales at U.S. retailers returned to growth last month but remained below economists’ expectations. Furniture company La-Z-Boy jumped after reporting stronger-than-expected results.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

BANGKOK (AP) – Shares were mostly higher in Europe and Asia on Tuesday after U.S. stocks rallied to more records, with gains for technology companies pushing the benchmarks higher.

Germany’s DAX climbed 0.4% to 18,135.67, while the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.4% to 7,600.86. In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.4% to 8,175.37.

The futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were nearly unchanged.

This week has few top-tier economic reports apart from an update Tuesday on how much American shoppers are spending at U.S. retailers and a preliminary look Friday at the state of U.S. business activity. U.S. markets will be closed Wednesday for the Juneteenth holiday.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1% to 38,482.11. Toyota Motor Corp., a market heavyweight, gained 0.5% after its shareholders rejected a proposal to force Akio Toyoda, grandson of the automaker’s founder, to leave his post as chairman of the board.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.1% to 17,915.55 and the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.5% to 3,030.25.

In South Korea, the Kospi advanced 0.7% to 2,763.92.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1% to 7,778.10 after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its key interest rate unchanged.

“While the Bank at its May meeting noted that inflation had fallen more gradually than expected, it today described it as “˜persistent,’ emphasizing that headline inflation as well as inflation excluding volatile items and travel had not fallen any further between April and December,” Capital Economics said in a commentary.

The central “bank noted that “˜momentum in economic activity is weak,’ with the statement citing slow GDP growth, a rise in the unemployment rate and slower-than-expected wages growth,” it said.

India’s Sensex rose 0.4% to 77,326.98.

On Monday, U.S. stocks rose to records as gains for technology companies keep pushing the market higher.

The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, beating an all-time high it set on Thursday. It closed at 5,473.23. The Dow gained 0.5% to 38,778.10, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 1% to 17,857.02.

Gains for tech shares helped offset pressure on the stock market caused by rising Treasury yields in the bond market. The climb in yields erased some of the slack created last week when better-than-expected reports on inflation raised hopes that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates later this year.

The Fed is trying to hold rates high for long enough to slow the economy and snuff out high inflation, but it wants to cut rates and reverse the momentum before the slowdown evolves into a painful recession.

High interest rates hurt all kinds of investments, and they tend to hit some areas particularly hard. Utilities in the S&P 500 fell 1.1% for Monday’s largest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the index.

In other dealings, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 20 cents to $79.52 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude gave up 20 cents to $84.04 per barrel.

The dollar rose to 158.18 Japanese yen from 157.74 yen. The euro was trading at $1.0721, down from $1.0737.

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