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S&P sets fresh record to begin Q2 on strong note

English.news.cn   2014-04-02 07:31:58

NEW YORK, April 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks extended gains Tuesday, with the S&P 500 closing at record high, as market remains jubilant over Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comments on the need for the bond-buying programme to support the U.S. economy.

The S&P 500 rose 13.18 points, or 0.70 percent, to 1,885.52, a record closing high, shortly after hitting an all-time intraday high of 1,885.84 points earlier, which eclipsed previous record intraday high of 1,883.97 set on March 21.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 74.95 points, or 0.46 percent, to 16,532.61 and the Nasdaq Composite Index soared 69.05 points, or 1.64 percent, to 4,268.04.

The market rally came one day after Yellen reassured investors that there was still room for the Fed to bolster the U.S. economy through its "extraordinary" policy.

Bulls seemed to dominate the market in the day when April, a relatively strong month for the stock market from a historical perspective, started, after Wall Street consolidated in the first quarter, ending in mixed territory in the quarter.

On the economic front, U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 10th consecutive month, with the March PMI registering 53.7, in comparison with February's reading of 53.2, according to the latest report by the Institute for Supply Management. The latest figure came in below analysts' expectations.

Another report by financial data firm Markit showed the U.S. manufacturing sector remained on a solid growth track in March. Adjusted for seasonal influences, the final Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI stood at 55.5 in March, unchanged from the earlier "flash" reading, yet down from 57.1 in the previous month.

Moreover, U.S. construction spending in February rose 0.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 945.7 billion U.S. dollars, said the Commerce Department, meeting market consensus.

Investors are still awaiting the closely-watched U.S. non-farm payroll report for March to be released by the Labor Department Friday. Analysts expected the unemployment rate of the world's largest economy to edge down to 6.6 percent in March from 6.7 percent the previous month.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, slumped 5.62 percent to end at 13.10 Tuesday.

In other markets, oil prices tumbled Tuesday after U.S. manufacturing activity for March grew at a little bit slower pace and U.S. crude oil inventories are predicted to expand.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery fell 1.84 dollars to settle at 99.74 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped for a fifth consecutive session Tuesday as traders mulled mixed U.S. economic data for clues on the demand outlook for the precious metal. The most active gold contract for June delivery lost 3.8 dollars to settle at 1,280.0 dollars per ounce.

The U.S. dollar traded mixed against major currencies Tuesday as U.S. manufacturing activity was weaker than expected in March.

In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.3792 dollars from 1.3775 dollars in the previous session. The dollar bought 103.70 Japanese yen, higher than 103.21 yen of the previous session.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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