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August 28, 2015 - US Stock Market Update
U.S. Stocks Little Changed as Calm Descends After Volatile Week By Bloomberg
S&P 500 headed toward its worst month in three years.
Energy companies continue to rally as crude oil surges.
U.S. stocks ended little changed, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on track for its worst month since May 2012, as equities found some respite from the wide swings prevalent earlier this week.
Energy companies advanced as oil capped its biggest two-day gain since 2009, with Chevron Corp. and Transocean Ltd rising more than 3.5 percent. Intel Corp. and Facebook Inc. gained at least 1.4 percent to boost technology shares. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. lost 1.7 percent, leading consumer staples lower amid a weaker consumer confidence reading. Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson slumped at least 1 percent to weigh on the health-care group. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. gained 3 percent after Carl Icahn took a stake in the company.
The S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent to 1,988.87 at 4 p.m. in New York, with the gauge posting its best three-day advance since November 2011. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 11.76 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,643.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.3 percent, and the Russell 2000 Index climbed 0.8 percent. About 7.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, 13 percent above the three-month average.
“The market just may be tired,” said Cam Albright, head of investment strategy at Wilmington Trust in Baltimore. The firm oversees $76 billion. “Perhaps we’re due for a day less traumatic than what we’ve had. There has been a lot of price action in both directions, perhaps traders just made a chance to catch their breath.”
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index slipped 0.2 percent to 26.05 Friday. The measure of market turbulence known as the VIX has dropped 36 percent in four days, after a record six-day jump sent the gauge to its highest level since October 2011.
The S&P 500 traded Friday in the narrowest range in almost two weeks. The index’s 0.9 percent gain for the week masks a volatile period in which the benchmark plunged the most since 2011 to enter a correction, only to rally more than 6 percent over two days. The gauge is down 5.5 percent for the month.
The benchmark index yesterday capped its best two-day rally since the beginning of the bull market in 2009, helped by data showing stronger-than-expected U.S. economic growth. The Dow had its strongest back-to-back advance since December 2008. Global equities had lost as much as $8.4 trillion in value after China’s unexpected devaluation of the yuan earlier this month spurred concern the world’s second-biggest economy was on the brink of a deeper slowdown.
“We’re not done with all the volatility in equities,” said Andrew Brenner, the head of international fixed income for National Alliance Capital Markets. “I think the worst is over, but are we out of the woods yet? No -- we’re still going to have a lot of volatility.”
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