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Stocks slip as Wall Street heads for record year

This year, the US sharemarket has clocked up its best performance since 1995.

Nevil Gibson
Sat, 28 Dec 2013

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.

World sharemarkets
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.

Nevil Gibson
Sat, 28 Dec 2013
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Stocks slip as Wall Street heads for record year