Dow Closes Up; Apple Slips, Bitcoin Price Tops $45,000

Last year ended with a rally in most assets, spurred by a belief that the Federal Reserve is about to start cutting interest rates. Derivative markets place a high likelihood on the first cut coming as soon as March. On Wall Street, optimism abounds about the prospects for the stock market in 2024.

Today, however, investors backed away from the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Meanwhile, Treasury bonds gained, with the benchmark 10-year yield approaching 4%.

Major stock indexes mostly fell. The tech-focused Nasdaq led the way lower, dropping 1.6%, as shares in Apple and major chip companies came under pressure. The S&P 500 declined 0.6%.

The Dow industrials crept less than 0.1% higher to a new record close. Shares of JPMorgan Chase rose 1.2%, finishing at their own record high.

Oil prices fell after initially shooting higher when Iranian state media reported that Tehran sent a warship to the Red Sea; Maersk said it would pause all transit through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Front-month U.S. crude settled down 1.8% at $70.38 a barrel.

Bitcoin climbed above $45,000.

Treasury yields rose. The 10-year yield moved to 3.944%, a third-consecutive daily increase.

Japan’s yen weakened after a powerful earthquake, while its stock market was closed for a public holiday. Chinese data showed that manufacturing activity shrank in December. Mainland shares fell.

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