Stocks slip as Wall Street heads for record year
In the quietest day’s trading of the year on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down just over a point after rising as much as 47 points earlier in the session.
The Dow closed down 1.47 points, or less than 0.1%, at 16,478.41 but rose for the week. On Boxing day, it rallied 122 points, or 0.7%, to hit its 50th record high of the year. This is the best performance since the 69 record highs in 1995.
The Dow also posted its sixth gain in a row, the longest winning streak since the 10-session stretch ending March 14.
The S&P 500 index dropped one point, or less than 0.1%, to 1841, finishing the week 1.3% higher and a 29% gain for the year. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 11 points, or 0.2%, to 4156.
European markets finished broadly higher, with the region's benchmark index finishing at a five and a half-year high, as investors returned from a two-day holiday in an upbeat mood.
The Stoxx Europe 600 was up 1.1%, on track for a sixth-straight gain to the highest level since May 2008. Germany's DAX 30 index rose 1.1%, France's CAC 40 gained 1.4% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 0.9%.
In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite ran up 1.4% as interbank lending rates eased. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average erased early losses to end up less than 0.1% at a six-year high.
Interest rates rising
US Treasury bond yields, a key reference for global interest rates, closed above the 3% mark for the first time in more than two years, underscoring growing confidence among investors and traders that the US economy is slowly gaining traction.
The benchmark 10-year note's yield settled at 3.004% on Friday afternoon, the highest since July 2011.
The US dollar rose against the yen, reaching ¥105 earlier in the session for the first time since October 2008, but fell sharply against the euro, reaching a two-year low earlier in the day.
Oil goes over $US100 a barrel
February crude-oil futures increased 0.8% to settle at $US100.32 a barrel, a more than two-month high, after a weekly government storage report showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in crude-oil stocks.