SUNDAY, February 25, 2024

U.S. stocks fluctuate, bonds rise amid aid talks

U.S. stocks fluctuate, bonds rise amid aid talks

Most U.S. stocks rose after the Trump administration resuscitated hopes for a spending package. Treasurys remained higher.

The S&P 500 edged higher to pare a weekly decline. It erased losses after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said he expects a deal in a day or so. Tech shares underperformed after Intel Inc. plunged more than 10%, dragging chipmakers lower. American Express Co. also faltered following earnings. Gilead Sciences Inc. rose after its antiviral therapy become the first drug formally cleared to treat covid-19. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 0.83%.

Investors remain focused on Washington, where lawmakers are haggling over a financial spending bill to prop up the economy before the Nov. 3, though optimism that a deal will come at some point this year has helped drive Treasury rates higher in recent days. Concerns remain that rising virus cases will force additional business closures. The final presidential debate appeared to do little to alter the trajectory of a race that Democrat Joe Biden leads according to polls.

Europe's equities market notched its first increase this week. Barclays Plc jumped after reporting improved stocks trading, lifting U.K. banking shares. Carmakers climbed after Daimler AG raised its profit forecast and Renault SA topped revenue estimates, the latest signs the global auto industry is emerging from its worst slump in decades.

"The focus is shifting toward de-risking," said Eleanor Creagh, a market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets, on Bloomberg TV. "There's a range of outcomes from the elections that could have a huge capacity to change market sentiment and dynamics very quickly."

Growing coronavirus infections around the world continued to weigh on markets. U.S. cases exceeded 70,000 for the first day since late July. In Europe, governments have started deploying curfews and other restrictions more widely.

Elsewhere, China's yuan climbed after an official with the country's foreign exchange watchdog said Friday the currency's appreciation has been "relatively moderate."

Here are the major moves in markets:


- The S&P 500 Index rose 0.1% as of 2:54 p.m. EDT.

- The Nasdaq 100 Index lost 0.1%.

- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.6%.

- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed.


- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1%.

- The British pound decreased 0.4% to $1.3037.

- The Japanese yen strengthened 0.1% to 104.79 per dollar.

- The Turkish lira weakened 0.4% to 7.9673 per dollar.


- The yield on 10-year Treasurys fell less than two basis points to 0.83%.

- Germany's 10-year yield fell one basis point to -0.58%.

- Britain's 10-year yield was little changed at 0.28%.

- Australia's 10-year yield increased five basis points to 0.85%.


- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.4% to $40.09 a barrel.

- Gold fell 0.4% to $1,896.61 an ounce.