Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 21st 2014 Contents Oil and gas companies
led the stock market
up Friday, helping
the Standard &
Poor's 500 index
notch its second-
best week this year.
With little news to
give them direction, traders continued to
push indexes higher. That extended a rally
from Wednesday when the Federal Reserve
said it was in no hurry to hike interest rates.
"What a very crazy week," said Sam Sto-
vall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital
IQ.Benchmark US crude bounced up from
recent lows, climbing US$2.36 to settle at
US$56.52 a barrel in New York, as traders
bet that a 6-month plunge in prices had
gone too far. Chevron, Denbury Resources
and other energy companies led nine of the
10 sectors in the S&P 500 to gains.
Nike's stock dropped US$2.24, or 2 per
cent, to US$94.84. The maker of athletic
apparel posted results that beat Wall Street's
forecasts late Thursday, but a drop in orders
from Japan and developing markets in Asia
overshadowed an otherwise strong quarter.
The S&P 500 gained 9.42 points, or 0.5
per cent, to 2,070.65, bringing its weekly
gain to 3.4 percent.
The Nasdaq composite picked up 16.98
points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4,765.38, and the
Dow Jones industrial average rose 26.65
points, or 0.1 per cent, to 17,804.80.
At the start of the week, slumping oil
prices and the state of the world economy
were investors' main worries. A plunge in
the Russian currency, the ruble, added to
a sense of unease.
The turnaround came Wednesday, when
Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve chair-
woman, said she saw no reason to hike inter-
est rates in early 2015 and that the central
bank would be "patient" in deciding when
to raise rates from near zero. Her comments
eased concerns that the Fed would start
raising rates when growth in other major
economies has looked weak. Traders cele-
brated, driving the S&P 500 up 4.5 per cent
over two days.
"It's just crazy volatility," said Jim Paulsen,
chief investment strategist and economist
at Wells Capital Management. Paulsen
pointed to the magnitude of the market's
turn. Before the Fed's statement came out
on Wednesday, the S&P 500 was on course
for a second week of losses. Two days later,
it closed out one of its best weeks this year.
Stock markets in Asia climbed in the wake
of the big gains in Europe and the US on
Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.4
per cent, while South Korea's Kospi added
1.7 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng
advanced 1.3 per cent.
"The major equity markets are finishing
the trading year on a positive note thanks
to Janet Yellen's Christmas message," said
Neil MacKinnon, global macros strategist
at VTB Capital. He said that with no major
economic reports coming out, the markets
will soon "switch into holiday mode," as
traders head off for vacations.
Back in the US, strong quarterly results
from Red Hat, an open-source software
company, drove its stock up 11 per cent, the
biggest gain in the S&P 500. Red Hat report-
ed better earnings and sales than analysts
had expected late Thursday. Its stock soared
US$6.54 to US$68.04.
CarMax jumped 11 percent after the used-
car dealership posted a 22 percent surge in
its quarterly profits thanks to higher sales.
The company's results beat analysts' esti-
mates, sending its stock up US$6.79 to
US government bond prices rose, nudging
yields down. The yield on the benchmark
10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.16 per-
In the commodity markets, gold edged
up US$1.20 to US$1,196 an ounce, while
silver added 10 cents to US$16.03 an ounce.
Copper rose 3 cents to US$2.88 a pound.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international
oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose
US$2.11 to close at US$61.38 in London.
In other futures trading on the New York
--- Wholesale gasoline rose 3.3 cents to
close at US$1.560 a gallon.
--- Heating oil rose 2.3 cents to close at
US$1.962 a gallon.
--- Natural gas fell 17.8 cents to close at
US$3.464 per 1,000 cubic feet. Forecasts
for a mild winter, have pushed natural gas
to its lowest price since November 2013. AP
DECEMEBER 21 • 2014 www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN
STOCKS | SBG9
US stocks inch higher
after a big two-day rally
How US stocks did Friday
Oil and gas companies led the stock market
up Friday, helping the Standard & Poor's
500 index notch its second-best week this
The Dow Jones industrial average rose
26.65 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 17,804.80.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained
9.42 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,070.65.
The Nasdaq composite gained 16.98 points,
or 0.4 per cent, to 4,765.38.
For the week:
The Dow is up 523.97 points, or 3 per cent.
The S&P 500 index is up 68.32 points, or
3.4 per cent.
The Nasdaq is up 111.78 points, or 2.4 per
For the year:
The Dow is up 1,228.14 points, or 7.4 per
The S&P 500 index is up 222.29 points, or
12 per cent.
The Nasdaq is up 588.79 points, or 14.1 per
Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve
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