Stocks edge up as dol­lar de­clines

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - NEWS -

U.S. stocks added to records and the dol­lar de­clined as devel­op­ments from Cat­alo­nia to Puerto Rico and the Fed­eral Re­serve re­ver­ber­ated through fi­nan­cial mar­kets Wed­nes­day.

The S&P 500 In­dex edged higher to an­other all-time high as con­sumer stocks led the ad­vance. Trea­suries erased gains and the dol­lar pared losses on data show­ing Amer­ica’s ser­vices in­dus­tries rose at the fastest clip in 12 years. That off­set ear­lier moves sparked by spec­u­la­tion the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is close to nom­i­nat­ing a new Fed chair.

The U.S. pres­i­dent rat­tled the mar­ket for Puerto Rico’s debt after say­ing the obli­ga­tions may need to be wiped clean, while tur­moil in Cat­alo­nia sent debt on Europe’s pe­riph­ery tum­bling.

The dol­lar and Trea­suries ap­peared to ear­lier take their cue from re­ports that Donald Trump is said to be close to pick­ing a suc­ces­sor to Janet Yellen. In­vestors are as­sess­ing the pol­icy im­pli­ca­tions based on a short­list of pos­si­ble can­di­dates that in­clude cur­rent Gov. Jerome Powell and ex-board mem­ber Kevin Warsh.

“The mar­ket gen­er­ally is ex­pect­ing higher in­ter­est rates, so I don’t think there will be a ma­jor shift if Warsh be­comes chair,” Ernie Ce­cilia, the chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer at Bryn Mawr Trust Co. in Penn­syl­va­nia, said by phone. “There would be a tilt, it’d be more hawk­ish, but not so much that it would be a ma­jor ob­sta­cle for the stock mar­ket, but it would be more so within the stock mar­ket from a sec­tor ba­sis.”

Speeches from Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and U.K. Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May also vied for in­vestor at­ten­tion, while the con­tin­ued po­lit­i­cal tur­moil tied to Cat­alo­nia weighed on the re­gion’s as­sets.

The S&P 500 In­dex rose 0.1 per­cent to 2,537.74. The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age gained 18 points to 22,661 for a sixth record close in a row.

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