Stocks and the dollar fluctuated, Treasuries retreated, gold jumped to a six week high and oil closed below $51 a barrel for the first time in three weeks as markets looked to tomorrow's news conference from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump for directions on the new administration’s economic policies.
The Dow lost 31.85 points finishing at 19,855.53 just over 100 points below its top at 19,956.75 for its fifth approach to within 20 points of 20,000 and its tenth within 50 points. The Dow's all-time high was 19,999.63 on January 6th. The S&P ended little changed, the Russell 2000 Index of small-cap stocks advanced ending a three day decline and the Nasdaq rose 20 points to 5,551.82. The dollar edged higher against the euro throughout the session closing at 1.0554 just three points above the intra-day low. But lost ground versus the yen, concluding the day’s trading at 115.77, 26 points below the open and 57 below the high.
Treasury prices moved marginally lower with the 10-year yield gaining one basis point to 2.375 percent and the 2-year also adding one point to 1.185 percent. Gold climbed $6.78 to $1,187.88 its best close since November 29th. The precious metal has quietly gained 5.3 percent since its December 15th low at $1128.50. From its July 7th last year at 1375.34 to December 15th gold lost 17.9 percent. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude oil standard slipped for the second day to close at $50.82 a barrel, its first finish below $51.00 since December 16th. WTI has lost 5.5 percent in the last two days and 6.2 percent since its 18 month high at $54.20 on January 3rd.
Caution has surfaced in most financial markets as the extreme buoyancy after Trump’s election, the Dow gained 9.5 percent from November 7th, the day before the election to January 6th, has stalled.
President-elect Trump and the Republicans who control both houses of Congress are generally perceived as more business friendly and likely to foster pro-growth economic policies than the exiting administration of Barack Obama.
Chief Market Strategist
WorldWideMarkets Online Trading