U.S. equities finished with modest gains in a volatile session, as investors weighed remarks from President Trump on trade tariffs, dovish comments from Fed Vice Chair Clarida, as well as the looming Fed minutes and G20 summit. In equity news, shares of Dow member Apple suffered amid Trump’s statements, as did General Motors, while investors seemed unsure of Dow component United Technologies’ announcement of separating into three independent companies. Meanwhile, Treasuries were little changed, crude oil prices were mixed, gold lost ground and the U.S. dollar was higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 109 points (0.4%) to 24,749, the S&P 500 Index advanced 9 points (0.3%) to 2,682, and the NADAQ Composite was nearly 1 point higher at 7,083. In moderate volume, 800 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.0 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil inched $0.07 lower to $51.56 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was down $0.02 at $1.40 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price fell $9.14 to $1,213.26 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.3% higher at 97.36.
The Consumer Confidence Index dipped to 135.7 in November from October’s unrevised 137.9 and matching Bloomberg estimates. The Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index of business conditions for the next six months both declined month-over-month. On employment, the labor differential—consumers’ appraisal of jobs being “plentiful” minus being “hard to get”—rose to 34.4 from the 32.0 level posted in October.
The 20-city composite S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a 5.2% y/y gain in home prices in September, matching the Street’s forecasts. Compared to last month, home prices were up 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis, slightly above expectations.
Treasuries were little changed, as the yields on the 2-year and 10-year notes were flat at 2.83% and 3.06%, respectively, while the 30-year bond rate ticked 1 basis point higher to 3.32%.. Stocks were able to finish slightly higher after a choppy session, and the U.S dollar gained ground after President Trump suggested yesterday that it was “highly unlikely” that he would delay an increase in tariffs from 10% to 25% on January 1st. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida seemed to offer cautious comments this morning, saying that interest rates are “much closer to neutral” and emphasized a “data dependent” approach. His comments may put the spotlight on Thursday, as minutes from the Fed’s monetary policy meeting earlier this month will be preceded by a speech from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
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