Bank rally fades and stocks fall; dol­lar hits 13-year high

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - WEATHER - By Mar­ley Jay

NEW YORK >> U.S. stocks fin­ished barely lower Wed­nes­day as banks re­turn some of the huge gains they’ve made since the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion last week, but tech­nol­ogy and con­sumer stocks climbed. The dol­lar con­tin­ued to ap­pre­ci­ate against other cur­ren­cies and reached its high­est mark in 13 years.

Banks took the big­gest losses as a seven-day rally in that sec­tor pe­tered out. In­dus­trial com­pa­nies, also big gain­ers since the elec­tion, traded lower as well. The price of oil gave back some of its enor­mous gain from the day be­fore. Graph­ics pro­ces­sor maker Nvidia and house­hold names like Ap­ple and Mi­crosoft led tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies higher. Ris­ing stocks out­num­bered de­clin­ers.

The dol­lar has been very strong in re­cent years, just not this strong, and it’s been pretty sta­ble com­pared to other cur­ren­cies. But in the wake of the elec­tion, in­vestors think the U.S. econ­omy might grow a bit faster and in­fla­tion might pick up.

“What’s pushed the dol­lar higher here in the short term is with the Trump win, par­tic­u­larly com­bined with (Repub­li­cans) hold­ing on to the Sen­ate,” said Scott Wren, a senior global eq­uity strate­gist at the Wells Fargo In­vest­ment In­sti­tute. Still, Wren doesn’t think the dol­lar will rise much fur­ther.

The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age slid 54.92 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 18,868.14. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex lost 3.45 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 2,176.94. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite picked up 18.96 points, or 0.4 per­cent, to 5,294.58.

After a long los­ing streak be­fore the elec­tion, the Dow had risen for seven days in a row through Tues­day and set sev­eral all-time highs. The S&P 500 and Nas­daq have also made large gains and are near the records they set this fall.

JPMor­gan Chase led banks lower as it fell $1.96, or 2.5 per­cent, to $77.40 and Mor­gan Stan­ley lost 81 cents, or 2 per­cent, to $39.19. Banks are com­ing off their best sin­gle week since the fi­nan­cial cri­sis as in­vestors hope for higher in­ter­est rates and more prof­its from lend­ing, as well as cut­backs in reg­u­la­tions that could boost bank prof­its.

The ICE U.S. Dol­lar In­dex, which mea­sures the dol­lar against six other cur­ren­cies, rose to its high­est level since April of 2003. The dol­lar is ris­ing in part be­cause in­vestors think the Fed­eral Re­serve will raise in­ter­est rates at a faster pace in re­sponse to in­fla­tion stem­ming from the in­creased spend­ing that Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump has pro­posed.

A stronger dol­lar hurts U.S. com­pa­nies that do a lot of busi­ness over­seas be­cause it makes their prod­ucts more ex­pen­sive, and it af­fects their earn­ings when they are trans­lated from other cur­ren­cies back into U.S. dol­lars. How­ever it makes im­ported goods cheaper for con­sumers in the U.S.

The dol­lar slipped 109.15 Ja­panese yen from 109.32 yen late Tues­day. The euro slid to $1.0681 from $1.0718.

Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies moved up­ward as they con­tin­ued a rally from a day ear­lier. Graph­ics pro­ces­sor maker Nvidia rose $5.44, or 6.3 per­cent, to $91.63 after it an­nounced a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Mi­crosoft, and Ap­ple picked up $2.93, or 2.7 per­cent, to $110.04.

Tech stocks had weak­ened since the elec­tion. Trump’s poli­cies might af­fect their sales in China and other key mar­kets, and a big surge this sum­mer had brought some tech­nol­ogy stocks to all-time highs.

Re­tailer Tar­get raised its profit fore­cast and its sales pro­jec­tions for the third quar­ter with the hol­i­day sea­son ap­proach­ing. That came as the re­tailer gave a strong third-quar­ter re­port, as it put more em­pha­sis on low prices after it stum­bled in the sec­ond quar­ter. The stock gained $4.59, or 6.4 per­cent, to $76.03.

TJX, the par­ent of TJ Maxx and Mar­shalls, re­ported a big­ger profit and bet­ter sales than in­vestors ex­pected and its stock gained $2.90, or 3.9 per­cent, to $76.39. That helped lead con­sumer stocks higher.

Home im­prove­ment re­tailer Lowe’s fell after it said traf­fic in stores was low dur­ing the third quar­ter, and Lowe’s re­ported a smaller third-quar­ter profit be­cause of sev­eral big charges. Lowe’s lost $2.03, or 2.9 per­cent, to $67.02.

Oil prices slipped. Bench­mark U.S. crude lost 24 cents to $45.57 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, fell 32 cents to $46.63 a bar­rel in Lon­don. The price of U.S. crude oil soared Tues­day as in­vestors hoped the oil-pro­duc­ing OPEC coun­tries will agree to a pro­duc­tion cut that would boost prices.

En­ergy com­pa­nies fell. They had ral­lied on Tues­day along with the price of crude oil.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note slipped to 2.21 per­cent from 2.22 per­cent. Bond yields, which are used to set in­ter­est rates on many kinds of loans in­clud­ing mort­gages, have risen to their high­est lev­els since the be­gin­ning of the year as in­vestors ex­pect in­fla­tion to rise. Bond in­vestors hate in­fla­tion be­cause it erodes the value of the fixed in­ter­est pay­ments that bonds pay.

In other en­ergy trad­ing, whole­sale gaso­line fell 2 cents to $1.32 a gal­lon. Heat­ing oil fell 1 cent to $1.44 a gal­lon. Nat­u­ral gas rose 6 cents, or 2 per­cent, to $2.76 per 1,000 cu­bic feet.

The price of gold slipped 60 cents to $1,223.90 an ounce. Sil­ver fell 12 cents to $16.93 an ounce. Cop­per fell 4 cents to $2.47 a pound.

In Ger­many the DAX lost 0.7 per­cent while France’s CAC 40 was off 0.8 per­cent. Bri­tain’s FTSE 100 slid 0.6 per­cent. Asian mar­kets fin­ished mostly higher. Ja­pan’s Nikkei jumped 1.1 per­cent and the Kospi in Seoul, South Korea gained 0.6 per­cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng in­dex closed 0.2 per­cent lower.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this Tues­day photo, a minia­ture re­pro­duc­tion of Ar­turo Di Mod­ica’s “Charg­ing Bull” sculp­ture sits on dis­play at a street ven­dor’s ta­ble out­side the New York Stock Ex­change, in lower Man­hat­tan. Global stock mar­kets were mixed on Wed­nes­day as in­vestors awaited more pol­icy de­tails from U.S. Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump. Oil prices re­treated, snap­ping an overnight rally.

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