Tech, industrial shares drive Wall St higher

Posted February 24, 2018

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 165 points, or 0.66%, to 24,962, the S&P 500 gained three points, or 0.10%, to 2,704, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped eight points, or 0.11%, to 7,210.

The Fed's transcript showed that several officials expected inflation to accelerate this year but only a couple of officials were anxious about the economy growing too hot and too fast.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in negative territory, with the energy, consumer staples, utilities, telecom services and real estate sectors leading the retreat.

Minutes of the January meeting showed on Wednesday the USA central bank's rate-setting committee grew more confident in the need to keep raising rates, with most believing inflation would perk up.

The gains in Asia followed a sell-off Thursday after minutes of the Fed's last meeting showed policy makers were confident about the economic outlook.

Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in NY, said he believes the overall tone in the report was a signal the central bank under Powell is prepared to accelerate rate hikes to four this year. In an interview with Bloomberg (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mnuchin-says-us-wages-can-rise-without-boosting-inflation-2018-02-23), Mnuchin brushed aside concerns over rising wages, saying these didn't necessarily have to trigger a rise in overall inflation. When Powell's appointment was first confirmed, stocks and bonds headed higher on the common view that he was a "safe pair of hands" and most likely to continue the policy pursued by Yellen.

Still, the Fed said, "overall vulnerabilities in the USA financial system remain moderate on balance", with banks better buffeted against any trouble due to their "strong capital position".

U.S. plans to open embassy in Jerusalem in May
In December, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a nonbinding resolution condemning the move. "Because of such decisions, the U.S. has become part of the problem and therefore can't be part of any solution".

With that economic growth interest rates are rising and that is a good thing.

"Because although it will discount equities and create more volatility, it is a sign that secular stagnation, disinflation.are finally in the rearview mirror and now we're in a normal market", he said, referring to a period framed by easy-money policies across much of the globe in the wake of the 2007-09 financial crisis.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard tried to tamp down expectations of four rate hikes in 2018, instead of the widely anticipated three, saying on Thursday that policymakers need to be careful not to increase rates too quickly because that could slow the economy. "That would probably be positive for the dollar", Gittler said.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE:HPE), which saw its shares soar by as much as 19% after hours following the release of its market-busing first quarter results, has kicked off with a more demure rise, up 0.98% premarket. Shares of General Mills were off 3.7%.

Xcerra Corp (NASDAQ:XCRA) lost 2.16% in pre-market trading after the company announced plans to call off its US$580mln sale to a Chinese group, blaming difficulty in securing federal approval.

How are other assets performing?

The U.S. dollar edged higher versus rivals, with the ICE U.

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