U.S. stocks rose to fresh highs as companies continued to indicate the tax overhaul will boost earnings this year. Treasuries fell with gold and the dollar climbed on speculation Congress will avert a government shutdown.
The S&P 500 Index posted its biggest gain since November, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 300 points to close above 26,000 for the first time. Semiconductor shares paced gains, taking the Nasdaq indexes to records.
Taxes drove much of the action. Financials were strong after Bank of America Corp. beat estimates and indicated that it could benefit from the U.S. tax overhaul by reducing pressure to cut future costs. And Apple Inc. climbed after saying that under the rules of the new tax plan it will bring hundreds of billions of dollars back to the U.S. from overseas to invest in jobs and facilities.
“We’re all really trying to figure out the real impact off tax reform on some of the major sectors,” said Jamie Cox, a managing partner for Harris Financial Group in Richmond, Virginia. “Financials in particular have been in the news because you’ve seen some weird things with some of their deferred tax assets being reported in earnings. I think a lot of people misunderstood and don’t understand how the deferred tax assets work, and so they’re seeing these massive charges that the banks are taking as a result of tax reform and they can’t see too clearly into the future about how much the impact on tax reform is going to have on their bottom line three quarters from now.”
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down slightly. Support came from the weaker euro, which was dragged down by some verbal intervention from the ECB, while the yen and Swiss franc were among the other major currencies falling against the greenback. Bitcoin dropped below $10,000 for the first time since Dec. 1, but then bounced back above the threshold.
Money managers expect the equities rally to continue, particularly with analysts predicting growth of 11 percent in earnings per share over the next two years, according to Bloomberg Intelligence calculations.
“A lot of the move that we’ve been seeing has been just the beginning,” said John Stoltzfus, chief market strategist at Oppenheimer & Co. “It’s hard to quantify, but we see some evidence of bull market bears as well as skeptics of this bull market finally beginning to capitulate. And when that capitulation starts, it’s a process.”
Meanwhile, bond investors are mulling the potential for monetary policy in the U.S. to tighten faster than expected and settling their nerves after last week’s selloff. The notion of a bear market doesn’t seem to have endured — the yield curve steepening barely lasted a day.
Elsewhere, West Texas crude slipped before U.S. government data forecast to show stockpiles fell for a ninth week.
Terminal users can read more in our markets blog.
Here’s what to watch out for this week:
- U.S. housing starts probably slipped in December for the first time in three months as frigid winter weather impeded work, forecasts show ahead of Thursday’s release.
- The Bank of Canada’s interest-rate decision comes today. Monetary policy announcements are also this week due in South Korea, South Africa and Turkey.
- China releases fourth-quarter GDP, December industrial production and retail sales Thursday.
And these are the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 closed up 0.9 percent to 2,802.57, while the Dow rose 323 points, or 1.3 percent, to 26,115.65.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.1 percent.
- The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dipped 0.4 percent to the lowest in more than a week.
- The MSCI All-Country World Index added 0.5 percent.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index climbed 0.4 percent to the highest in almost 10 years.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2 percent.
- The euro slid 0.4 percent to $1.2209.
- The British pound gained 0.5 percent to $1.3848, the highest since June 2016.
- The Japanese yen dipped 0.7 percent to 111.18 per dollar, the first retreat in more than a week.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained three basis points to 2.5702 percent.
- Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.562 percent.
- Britain’s 10-year yield added less than one basis point to 1.308 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2 percent to $63.87 a barrel.
- Gold fell 0.7 percent to $1,329.41 an ounce.
With assistance from Adam Haigh Cormac Mullen and Samuel Potter.