US consumer confidence is growing according to data released by the Conference Board. Its latest index shows consumers are fairly upbeat about current conditions. The optimistic outlook spurred indexes higher. US stocks recovered from losses on Monday although intraday trading was a mixed bag stocks finished higher on Tuesday. The Dow went up +0.26%, Nasdaq rose +0.30% while the S&P 500 edged up +0.08%.
The Conference Board Consumer Index showed there was an increase in August following an uptick in July, Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board attributed growing confidence to a “more buoyant assessment of present-day conditions". However, short-term outlook remained flat with consumers not expecting an acceleration in economic activity in the months ahead.
- Dow 21,865.37 +0.26%
- S&P 500 2,466.30 +0.08%
- Nasdaq 6,301.89 +0.30%
- Russell 2000 1383.68 +0.11%
- NYSE Composite 11,791.88 -0.07%
- Gold 1,314.2 -0.08%
- Oil WTI 46.36 -0.43%
- 10-Year Treasury 2.12 -0.03%
Safety sought: Texas' natural disaster and North Korea's sabre rattling as it fires weapons over Japan sent investors fleeing to safety assets. The dollar's slide continued and has fallen 10% so far this year. The biggest drop seen in over a decade. The dollar rose against the Japanese yen up +0.40% to $109.69. The Euro strides higher above $1.20 for the first time in two and a half years, causing the Stoxx Europe 600 to drop 1%.
The Euro has gained strength up over 14% against the dollar since January 2017 on expectations that the European Central Bank will begin to taper its bond-buying programme. Increased bond buying saw Treasury yields dip putting pressure on financial sector falling -0.47% on the S&P 500.
Individual stocks: that led were finance company, United Rentals up +3.82%, alcoholic beverage company, Brown-Forman Corp (+2.32%) and defense manufacturer, United Technologies rose +2.92%.
North Korea ramps it up: by firing ballistic missiles for the first time over Japan early on Tuesday morning, causing the Japanese government to issue an alert to residents of its second largest island, Hokkaido. Both Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump, agreed "that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea." President Trump in a short and emphatic statement said: "Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table."
Tropical Storm Harvey's trail of destruction: In addition to the widespread individual angst in the face of historic flooding in Texas, businesses such as the US shale oil industry are beginning to tot up the costs. Several refineries were closed down before the storm and may be closed for several more days as more rainfall is expected. Production capacity lost was estimated by analysts at around 2m barrels a day. Companies that drill for oil both offshore and onshore may also suffer depending on how quickly operations can be resumed and how badly infrastructure may have been affected.
Quote of the day: “Economic politics, geopolitics, social politics, not to mention natural disaster; none of them are dollar-friendly, and nor is the laissez-faire Fed,” said Kit Juckes, a strategist at Société Générale. Source: FT.com