NEW YORK – Wall Street extended a recent rally on Monday (Dec 19) but finished the session short of earlier highs after several people were killed by a truck driven into a Christmas market in Germany.
All three major US indexes ended higher but lost some steam after German police said a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, killing nine people and injuring up to 50 others.
That rattled US investors already eyeing potential global troubles after the Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot dead in Ankara.
“Markets want to be sure whether this is an isolated incident. Will this disrupt economic activity in just this area or will it be a wider area and for how long?,” said John Canally, chief economic strategist for LPL Financial. “That’s the playbook by which markets have come to address these types of issues.”
The S&P technology index rose 0.61 per cent, with Microsoft, Intel, Apple and Amazon.com lifting the Nasdaq Composite to within a hair of last Tuesday’s record high close.
US stocks have been on a tear since the Nov 8 presidential election, with the S&P rising nearly six per cent on bets that President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending will boost the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average is less than one per cent away from 20,000, a level it has never breached.
“The Trump rally is still with us. Every time something’s down for two days, people jump on it. People are looking for buying opportunities,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
However, some investors warn that uncertainty around Trump’s policies and the uncertainty of whether they are approved by Congress pose major risks to current stock prices.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.65 points or 0.20 per cent to end at 19,883.06.
The S&P 500 ended up 4.46 points or 0.20 percent at 2,262.53 after trading as high as 2,167.47.
The Nasdaq Composite added 20.28 points or 0.37 per cent to end at 5,457.44.
Microsoft rose 2.12 per cent, Amazon.com gained 1.09 per cent, Intel climbed 1.60 per cent and Apple climbed 0.58 per cent. All four provided the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.
United Technologies rose 2.12 per cent, helping lift the Dow, after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to “outperform” and increased its price target.
Walt Disney rose 1.34 per cent after its “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” movie scored the second-largest December opening in history.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.66-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.34-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 13 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 157 new highs and 38 new lows.
About 6.1 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, well below the 7.5 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.