US stocks fluctuated as investors weighed an encouraging outlook for the semiconductor sector against disappointing results from Target Corp. The dollar weakened amid the developing trade spat over President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs.
The S&P 500 Index was mixed as semiconductor shares got a boost from a positive report by Goldman Sachs, and Target pulled down consumer staples producers after reporting earnings that missed analyst estimates.
Investors remained focussed on the potential for severe protectionist policies from the Trump administration, while an apparent diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula added to optimism. Treasuries rose after initially dropping when CVS Health Corp. kicked off what’s likely to be one of the largest corporate-debt financings ever.
Meanwhile, emerging-market stocks rose after five days of declines, and Europe’s peripheral bonds advanced. Italian stocks advanced alongside the country’s bonds as the potentially lengthy process of forming a new government got under way. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda appeared to dial back some of his recent perceived hawkishness, giving further impetus to the risk-on mood.
The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference runs through March 15 and overlaps with the National People’s Congress meetings in Beijing, through March 20. Australia GDP data is due on Wednesday. The ECB isn’t expected to change policy on Thursday, but the Governing Council may discuss a change to pave the way for the end of quantitative easing. BOJ monetary policy decision and briefing on Friday.
The S&P 500 Index fell less than 0.1 percent in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.4 percent. The UK’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.8 percent, the biggest advance in more than two weeks. The MSCI Emerging Market Index climbed 1.8 percent, the largest increase in almost three weeks.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.5 percent, the biggest drop in almost three weeks. The euro gained 0.5 percent to $1.24, the strongest in more than two weeks. The British pound rose 0.4 percent to $1.3908, the strongest in a week on the biggest rise in almost three weeks. The Japanese yen fell 0.1 percent to 106.07 per dollar. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index jumped 0.6 percent to the highest in more than a month.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 2.86 percent. Germany’s 10-year yield climbed four basis points to 0.68 percent. Britain’s 10-year yield climbed four basis points to 1.534 percent. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.3 percent to $62.39 a barrel, the highest in more than a week. Gold rose 1.2 percent to $1,336.41 an ounce, the biggest increase in almost three weeks.