Stocks were mixed in trading on Wednesday and light on volume ending moderately higher. Selling pressure in financials, energy and telecoms could not offset gains in real estate and utilities. The S&P 500 edged up to positive territory at close.
The Dow rose +0.11% led by Visa (+0.91%) and McDonald's up +0.81%. Nike and Goldman Sachs dropped -1.10% and -0.69% respectively. Over on the S&P 500 after directionless trading throughout the day, the index closed up virtually unchanged at +0.08%.
Biggest gainers were Envision Healthcare up +2.43% and Marriott International added +2.21%. A drag on the index was Macy's down -4.51% and, as oil prices declined today, so too did energy companies' share prices. Chesapeake Energy fell -3.00% and NRG Energy dropped -2.57%. NASDAQ was up +0.04% menswear design company KBS Fashion jumped +28.92%.
- Dow 24,773 +0.11%
- S&P 500 2,682.57 +0.08%
- NASDAQ 6,939.34 +0.04%
- Russell 2000 1,543.68 -0.04%
- NYSE Composite 12,809.65 +0.01%
- Gold 1,292.3 +0.38%
- Oil WTI $57.93 -0.63% (3:57PM EST)
- 10-Year Treasury 2.41 +0.57%
Consumer confidence takes a dip
Conference Board released data on Wednesday showing that US consumer confidence dipped in December to 122.1 below November figures of 128.6. Although lower, the figures were still just off historical high levels of optimism.
The Conference Board said data suggests that the US economy will continue to grow well into 2018. The strength of confidence is fed by a strong jobs market, tax reform and a rallying stock market.
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board explains the retreat in December saying, "The decline in confidence was fueled by a somewhat less optimistic outlook for business and job prospects in the coming months. Consumers' assessment of current conditions, however, improved moderately."
Bitcoin's volatility was in the frame as the cryptocurrency's rise and fall saw it at above $16,000 overnight on Tuesday plunging below $15,000 earlier in trading on Wednesday.
Bitcoin has since recovered up +3.21% to $15,200 at 10:01 PM UTC. Last Friday saw a sharp sell-off in the digital currency send it plummeting from highs just off $20,000 two weeks prior.
There has been increasing debate about just how to value bitcoin and Edward Stringham, president of the American Institute for Economic Research said on Bloomberg Television, “Nobody knows the ultimate value of this underlying asset..We cannot predict whether it’s going to be zero or $1m or anything in between.”
Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucett was also widely mentioned in the press suggesting bitcoin's value could be zero. Faucett authored a report for clients, "Bitcoin Decrypted" which outlined in a section the difficulty of attempting to value bitcoin primarily because it was not a true currency linked to an interest rate and that it is accepted by a small and limited number of companies.