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Wall St. back in black as Russell 2000 hits record


By Stephen Culp

(Reuters) - Retail and led Wall Street back to positive territory on Wednesday, and the small-cap hit a new intra-day high, even as traders remained on edge about geopolitics and rising U.S. interest rates.

Smaller companies continued to outperform their larger rivals with the reaching a record level. The index was last up 1.3 percent.

"Small caps present a cleaner play than large caps on two fundamental market drivers: lower corporate taxes and a stronger US economy," research firm wrote in its morning briefing on Wednesday.

shares were up 11.2 percent after beating estimates and raising guidance. The Department Store index <.SPLRCRETD> was up 5.4 percent, its largest daily gain in nearly six months.

Rival department stores , , Nordstrom and were also boosted by the results.

earnings pushed the consumer discretionary sector higher on Wednesday, a day after government data showing an acceleration of consumer spending fanned inflation concerns and helped send yields higher.

Yields on U.S. Treasuries were little changed with 10-year bonds near a 7-year peak, continuing to pressure stocks as investors consider whether U.S. bonds pose a more attractive option to riskier equities.

"I think bonds are almost becoming an attractive alternative to equities," said chief investment officer, Advisors in "Not yet, in our opinion, but as yields continue to rise, we may get there soon."

Weeks of diplomatic progress were thrown into doubt when postponed high-level talks with and threatened to pull out of its historic meeting with the

The uncertainty compounded investor jitters ahead of United States-trade negotiations.

"Tweets and tariffs are making the market a little uncomfortable and uncertain," Carter said. "It doesn't help markets, but it's not necessarily knocking them down."

On the economic front, housing starts fell 3.7 percent in April while new housing permits declined 1.8 percent, according to the Commerce Department.

At 2:17PM ET, the <.DJI> rose 92.55 points, or 0.37 percent, to 24,798.96, the <.SPX> gained 14.99 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,726.44 and the <.IXIC> added 57.40 points, or 0.78 percent, to 7,409.03.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, only and real estate <.SPLRCR> stocks were in negative territory.

rose 4.6 percent after initiated coverage of the chipmaker with an "outperform" rating.

The SE index <.SOX> was up 1.3 percent.

shares were the biggest drag on the S&P 500, down 0.6 percent, on that would appear before members of the to answer questions about the improper use of users' data.

, was the biggest drag on the Dow, slipping -0.7 percent after Jefferies downgraded the stock to "hold."

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.30-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, a 2.62-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 17 2018. 01:46 IST