US stocks pared earlier gains as a decline in oil and technology shares offset speculation that the Federal Reserve won’t be forced to accelerate the pace of rate hikes. Personnel moves in the White House may also be giving traders pause.
The S&P 500 Index rose above 2,800 for the first time since early February before retreating. An inflation report on Tuesday reinforced the sense that economic growth is picking up without runaway price increases, but the energy sector weighed on the index, as the price of oil declined on concern that global demand might not absorb burgeoning US supplies. The 10-year Treasury yield and Bloomberg’s Dollar Index declined.
The inflation news may guide traders trying to anticipate the path of monetary tightening in the world’s biggest economy ahead of the Fed meeting next week. Tuesday’s Treasury auction may help gauge how much investors are worried about inflation.
“It wasn’t hot, but it wasn’t weak either. I don’t know if it’s going to be a big number for the day,” Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Leuthold Group, said. “It’s not going to worry anybody about inflation but it’s not going to put it to bed either. It’s still up for debate and this one didn’t really move the needle too far.”
“Markets one day may become exhausted if the staff turnover and perceived White House instability continues,” Haines wrote in a
note. “Trump and the administration will have some work to do to reassure markets”
Tillerson’s removal followed an executive order from Trump blocking Broadcom Ltd. from acquiring Qualcomm Inc., scuttling a $117 billion hostile takeover that had been the subject of scrutiny on national security grounds. Qualcomm’s shares fell as much as 5.9 percent, weighing down the Nasdaq 100 Index even as competing chipmakers posted gains.
The European stock benchmark gave up its increase as the trading session wore on. Earlier, Japanese stocks had also fluctuated, but they closed higher as Hong Kong and Chinese shares slipped.
The yen dropped the most in more than a month as investors digested the political fallout from a scandal embroiling the country’s finance minister.
Elsewhere, emerging-market equities gained for a fourth day. Bitcoin climbed, held around $9,000. Gold advanced. Elsewhere, emerging-market equities gained for a fourth day.
West Texas crude recovered after declining earlier on concern that global demand might not absorb burgeoning US supplies. Bitcoin gained, holding above $9,000.
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.5 percent in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2 percent, the first retreat in more than a week. The UK’s FTSE 100 Index declined 0.3 percent, the biggest drop in more than a week. The MSCI Emerging Market Index gained 0.4 percent to the highest in more than five weeks.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.1 percent. The euro gained 0.1 percent to $1.2362. The British pound climbed 0.3 percent to $1.3943, the strongest in two weeks. The Japanese yen decreased 0.6 percent to 107.06 per dollar. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.4 percent to $60.53 a barrel. Gold gained 0.3 percent.