Tuesday 16 January 2018

US Index futures rise amid positive data

Standard & Poor's 500 Index contracts expiring in June rose 0.2pc. (AP)
Standard & Poor's 500 Index contracts expiring in June rose 0.2pc. (AP)

Namitha Jagadeesh

US stock-index futures advanced amid data showing slow but steady increases in consumer spending.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index contracts expiring in June rose 0.2pc to 2,033.25 early yesterday in New York, after climbing as much as 0.6pc. The benchmark fell 0.7pc last week as energy, raw materials and financial shares slid, with markets shut for Good Friday. European markets were closed yesterday as well.

A report yesterday showed personal spending barely increased in February and the prior month's advance was revised down as Americans saved more of their incomes. Spending on goods and services climbed 0.1pc for a third month in February, according to Commerce Department figures. Incomes rose 0.2pc, pushing the saving rate to a one-year high.

The S&P 500 rallied for five straight weeks, wiping out all of its 2016 losses, before a three-day slide at the end of last week amid thin trading volume signalled the recovery may be running out of steam.

The benchmark hasn't reached a new high in 10 months, the longest stretch outside a bull market since 1995.

Still, in every instance when the gauge experienced a longer period without fresh highs and didn't descend into a bear market, stocks kept rising after they broke out. The index's increase in the following 12 months averaged 24pc, more than triple the normal rate of 7.6pc, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The main US equity index has recovered from its worst-ever start to a year, climbing as much as 12pc from a 22-month low on February 11, as a surge in oil prices eased concerns over the solvency of some energy producers, worries over the impact of China's slowdown ebbed and the Federal Reserve signalled a slower pace of interest-rate increases. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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