United States stocks down after hitting record highs

Darnell Taylor
January 13, 2020

A measure of fear in the stock market had its largest drop in a week. US President Donald Trump's statement that Iran appeared to be "standing down" after an attack on Iraqi US air bases cooled off the markets, so on Thursday stocks got a boost.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 21.65 points, or 0.7%, to 3,274.70, breaking the record it set last week.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2%.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin unveiled new sanctions on Iran's metal exports and on eight senior Iranian officials in retaliation for Iran firing missiles at USA targets in Iraq.

"The market is in pretty solid shape", said Matt Hanna, portfolio manager at Summit Global Investments.

Kickoff Times Are Set For Packers-49ers, Chiefs-Titans
The Packers , now 14-3 this season, will move on to face the 49ers in the NFC title game next Sunday in San Francisco. Adams was the game's star, catching eight passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. "Those guys did very well".

Stocks have been on a tear since the USA and China recently said they would sign a preliminary trade pact - an obstacle that hung over the stock market for about two years. China said its top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, will travel to Washington next week to sign a phase-one accord, the first official confirmation by Beijing on the truce's signing.

Those numbers precede the U.S. Labor Department's release of its monthly jobs report on Friday. Economists had forecast a gain of 3.1%.

The continued job creation in 2019 - on the heels of payroll gains every year since 2010 - would help bolster the Federal Reserve's view that monetary policy doesn't need to be eased further as the US economy is continuing to grow. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also hit record highs in intraday trading before turning negative. It's a sharp turnaround from earlier, when the S&P 500 seemed to be heading for just its third weekly loss in the last 14 as worries rose about a possible U.S. -Iran war. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, which tracks expectations for stock swings, fell a fourth consecutive trading session, suggesting investors remain sanguine on risk, analysts said. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.82% from 1.85%.

Gold rose $5.80 to $1,557.50 an ounce, silver rose 17 cents to $18.03 per ounce, and copper rose 1 cent to $2.82 per pound. It was the second drop in a row for the metal, following 10 straight days of gains.

Oil prices were unchanged at $59.61 USA a barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, fell 39 cents to $64.98 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.65 a gallon. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 2,091 shares of the exchange traded fund's stock worth $557,000 after buying an additional 1,002 shares during the period.

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