Early Wall Street rally fizzles as stocks end lower

Stock indexes opened near break-even levels on Thursday amid growing concerns of a partial government shutdown at the end of the week. The Journal notes that the records keep falling faster: The Dow took only 23 trading days to hit 25,000 from 24,000 on January 4, and the previous 1,000-point milestone (which actually happened twice: getting to 11,000 and 21,000) took 24 trading days.

The S&P 500 gained 13.76 points, or 0.493856 percent, to 2,800. The Nasdaq shed 24 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,236. "If you look at year-to-date performance, you have the broad popular indices up roughly 3 [percent] to nearly 5 percent in two weeks' trading".

"There's a lot of enthusiasm about what tax reform will do, what repatriation will do", said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Glenveagh Properties rose 0.7 per cent to €1.24 on a day when it announced four senior management appointments.

FILE PHOTO: The trading floor is seen on the final day of trading for the year at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017.

Deutsche Bank lost 0.8 per cent after it was accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to rig a Canadian benchmark rate.

Energy stocks also fell as crude-oil prices declined.

Main Street investors, who have been on the sidelines for most of the nine-year bull run after getting burned in the last market crash in 2008-09, are turning more optimistic.

Those welcome signals from the White House come against the backdrop of steady economic expansion, with US GDP growing every year since 2010, fuelling the good mood on Wall Street.

Meanwhile, individual investors who are cautiously dipping their toes back into American stock markets after suffering so heavily in the financial meltdown of 2008, seem largely unconcerned by the president's penchant for controversy. Financials turned positive and tech stocks rallied as all the sectors on the S&P 500 advanced into the green. In the first 11 trading days of the year it has risen almost 1,400 points, or 5.6%.

"The Dow's performance in the first two weeks of 2018 has been nothing short of breathtaking", said Jesse Cohen, senior editor at Investing.com. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 6,014.60 after zigzagging during the day, and South Korea's Kospi inched up less than 0.1 percent to 2,515.81.

Bitcoin sank 21.1 percent to $10,356 as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the tracking site CoinDesk. Health care stocks were among the gainers as investors sized up the latest company earnings and deal news after a long holiday weekend.

  • Zachary Reyes