Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

United States stocks end higher after calm session, Dow +1.7%

United States stocks end higher after calm session, Dow +1.7%

Market experts also attributed the selloff, including the overnight slide in S&P 500 futures, to the violent unwind of a trade betting on volatility in U.S. stocks staying low as the CBOE Volatility index, known as the VIX, notched its biggest one-day jump on Monday in over two years.

At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 272.64 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 24,463.54, reports Xinhua news agency.

After a wildly volatile week that pushed the market into correction territory, USA stocks gained roughly 3 percent over Friday and Monday, their best two-day gain since June 2016.

The S&P 500 rose 1.4 percent Monday with energy and financials as the top performing sectors.

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USA investors have been torn between enthusiasm for the tax cut passed by Congress a year ago that could provide a stimulus to an economy already at full employment, and growing fears that interest rates will jump as the federal government borrows big to cover its growing deficits. The Dow futures' advance implied a gain of more than 140 points when the index opens for trading.

Traders are reacting to renewed volatility, concerns over rising Treasury yields, worries ahead of Wednesday's US consumer inflation report and earnings.

Monday's performance came as President Donald Trump's administration released a $4.4 billion infrastructure blueprint.

Twenty-First Century Fox picked up 66 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $36.40 after The Wall Street Journal reported that cable and Internet provider Comcast is still interested in buying Fox's entertainment divisions and could make another offer.

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Economic data is likely to attract attention in the coming days, with reports on producer and consumer prices likely to be in focus amid recent concerns about rising inflation. It calls for $3 trillion in deficit reduction, which would include $1.7 trillion in mandatory spending cuts, while proposing to cut discretionary spending by 2 percent a year after 2019. Disney agreed to buy Fox's movie and television studios and some cable and global TV businesses in December for $52.4 billion.

Bond prices edged higher. Hospital property company HCP fell 37 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $22.85, and Boston Properties shed 21 cents to $115.14.

The Russell 2000 is down 44.53 points, or 2.9 percent. The futures on gold rose by 0.81% to 1,326.30 United States dollars per ounce. Chipmaker Applied Materials climbed $1.42, or 3 percent, to $49.50. (NYSE:AMZN) ticked 2.04% higher to close at US$1.414.50 while Apple (NYSE:AAPL) gained 1.0%, closing at US$164.34. Economists had expected inventories to edge up by 0.2 percent.

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Information for this article was contributed by Renae Merle of The Washington Post; and by Marley Jay of The Associated Press.

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