The Dow, which had its strongest rally to a new year since 2003, finished flat on Monday after mixed trading and as investors took a moment's respite, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ hit fresh highs.
Tech-heavy NASDAQ led on gains in semiconductors up +0.29% at 7,157.39 and the S&P 500 was up +0.17% to a record 2,747.70. The Dow retreated -0.05% at 25,282.93. Signs were investors may be sitting it out, awaiting fresh evidence of tax-cut bounty in the form of upbeat earnings. Financials will be among the first to report later this week.
The blue-chip index was nearly split with 14 members gaining against 15 losers. Caterpillar was a big winner up +2.51% to a record share price of $166.03 and Wal-Mart went up +1.48% but healthcare and financials weighed heavily. United Healthcare Group fell -1.74% and Goldman Sachs declined -1.45%. Seagate Technology led the S&P 500 index up +7.13% and retailer, Kohl's added +4.67% after delivering better-than-expected sales.
In other markets, the dollar rises to a high after two Federal Reserve members in separate Reuters interviews last week took hawkish stances suggesting at least three rate hikes were on the cards in 2018. The ICE dollar spot index rose +0.37% to 92.33.
- Dow 25,282.93 -0.05%
- S&P 500 2,747.70 +0.17%
- NASDAQ 7,157.39 +0.29%
- Russell 2000 1,562.79 +0.18%
- NYSE Composite 13,114.89 +0.09%
- Gold 1,320.7 -0.12%
- Oil WTI $61.89 -0.73%
- 10-Year Treasury 2.47 -0.01%
Crytocurrencies' regulatory drag
Bitcoin cooled on Monday tumbling 17% to $14,820 its lowest in two weeks and other digital coins also plunged in its wake. Although Bitcoin narrowed its losses and was down -6.69% to $15,352.50
Ripple fell 25% to $2.32 as investors digested the regulatory clampdown from China and South Korea on digital token sales. Coinmarketcap.com excluded Korean pricing data for the coins which traders say contributed to the perceived drop and subsequent sell off.
CFDs (trading on price movements) on leading cryptocurrencies on Capital.com showed at 8 Jan 21:00 UTC Bitcoin down -7.49% to %16,099.25, Ethereum was up +1.14 to $1,112.52, Litecoin was down -5.24% at $268.14 and Ripple was down the most -9.18% to $2.73.
Extreme weather costs record $306bn
Extreme weather in 2018 which caused devastation and unprecedented damage of over a billion according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday reports the Associated Press.
There was a total of 16 natural and weather-related disasters across the US that included three hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and drought. The total cost to the US was $306bn adjusted for inflation and against the previous record of $215bn in 2005.
Three hurricanes that struck the US last year also ranked among the most expensive. AP reported Deke Arndt, NOAA's climate monitoring chief, put the increase in large-scale costly weather disasters down to "a combination of more flooding, heat and storm surge from climate change along with other non-climate changes, such as where buildings are put, where people move and how valuable their property is."
Weight Watchers' Oprah effect
Finally, Oprah Winfrey's stirring Golden Globe speech buoyed not only many a listener but also the share price of Weight Watchers International, which climbed +12.17% at close on Monday and as CNA Finance points out positive news moves stock. Winfrey has a 10% stake in the company.
Twitter was abuzz as tweets flowed in for the multi-billionaire to run for president. According to AdWeek, Winfrey's speech was viewed nearly 24 million times on Facebook and shared over 400,000 times.