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S&P inches higher as ECB signals gradual rate hikes

Reuters 

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks ticked higher on Thursday, after the signaled that any interest rate hike was still far away, even as it moved to end its 2.55 trillion euro stimulus program by the end of the year.

The ECB's statement came as a relief, especially after the Federal Reserve raised rates for the second time this year on Wednesday and hinted at two more hikes by the end of 2018.

were the biggest gainers, with and leading the pack, while took a hit and weighed on the benchmark 500.

"The Fed rate increases, the ECB's decision to end its bond buying program, it suggests higher rates down the road," said Rick Meckler, partner, Investments in New Vernon,

"For the most part it's a positive because they feel the economy is strong enough to handle that."

U.S. rose more than expected in May to post its biggest advance since November 2017, while another report showed number of Americans on jobless rolls fell to a near 44-1/2-year low.

Meckler said reaction was mixed to the policy announcements, as markets were split between "those that think the economy is very strong and those who are concerned about inflation."

At 12:55 p.m. ET, the was down 26.64 points, or 0.11 percent, at 25,174.56, the 500 was up 5.66 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,781.29 and the Composite was up 56.87 points, or 0.74 percent, at 7,752.57.

J.P Morgan Chase's 1.9 percent fall was the biggest drag on the 500. The financial index was down 0.96 percent, the biggest loser among the S&P sectors.

"You have the yield curve continuing to flatten, which is not great for financial stocks," said Michael Antonelli, managing director, at Robert W. Baird in

The yield spread between U.S. 30-year bonds and U.S. 5-year notes narrowed to the flattest level since January 2012 after the Fed decision on Wednesday.

jumped 3.9 percent after the company offered $65 billion to lure it away from a merger with Disney also rose 1.9 percent and Fox was up 1.9 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.32-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.14-to-1 ratio on the

The S&P index recorded 30 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the recorded 133 new highs and 20 new lows.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 23:14 IST
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