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S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record highs as U.S.-Iran escalation fears fade

Published Jan 08, 2020 01:44PM ET
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By Sruthi Shankar and Susan Mathew

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record highs after President Donald Trump's comments eased fears of an all-out conflict in the Middle East, as Iran retaliated by firing missiles following the death of an Iranian general last week in a U.S. airstrike.

Trump said at a White House briefing on Wednesday that Iran's missile strikes overnight on military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq had not harmed any Americans and that Tehran appeared to be standing down.

Global markets have been rattled by fears of turmoil in the Middle East after the U.S. killing of influential Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3 prompted the overnight strike from Iran.

U.S. stock futures tumbled 1.7% overnight, but comments from Iran's foreign minister that the country did not seek an escalation and Trump's tweet that "All is well!" helped inject some calm early on Wednesday.

"The de-escalation nature of the (Trump) speech is really what the market is focused on," said Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Robert W. Baird.

"It's Trump essentially saying that we're not going to retaliate to the missile attacks last night."

Trump's latest comments sent the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to all-time highs, previously hit on the first trading day of 2020 on hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal.

At 12:53 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was up 199.00 points, or 0.70%, at 28,782.68, the S&P 500 (SPX) was up 20.72 points, or 0.64%, at 3,257.90 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) was up 69.63 points, or 0.77%, at 9,138.21.

The blue-chip Dow was just below its all-time high as Boeing (N:BA) fell 1.3% after its 737-800 jet belonging to a Ukrainian airline burst into flames shortly after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (O:WBA) slid 6.2% as its quarterly profit missed expectations. Shares in rival CVS Health (N:CVS) fell 1.5%.

Lennar Corp (N:LEN) gained 2% after the No. 2 U.S. homebuilder beat quarterly profit estimates on lower home prices and mortgage rates.

Adding to the upbeat mood, the ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) National Employment Report showed private payrolls jumped by 202,000 jobs last month, much above the 160,000 rise expected by economists polled by Reuters.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.68-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.68-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 55 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 93 new highs and 9 new lows.

S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record highs as U.S.-Iran escalation fears fade
 

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Comments (11)
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Jan 08, 2020 3:32PM ET
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there is no reason why this is going up apart from manipulation
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Jan 08, 2020 2:57PM ET
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Yes, US first became energy independent under President Obama. Trump is now riding the former POTUS’s coattails. Same is true of the stock markets and US economy.
Ian Serra
That_Guy Jan 08, 2020 2:57PM ET
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People always forget that the current president's policies don't have any real effect for a few years.
rob finch
rob finch Jan 08, 2020 2:57PM ET
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it doesn't need to have real effect. only speculated effect on prices. as soon as Trump was elected the dark gloomy cloud of socialism was lifted off America. Now that's hope and change. Don't go back to the gloom and doom of the has been democrats. Keep America great. Reelect Donald Trump 2020.
Fred Smith
Fred Smith Jan 08, 2020 2:17PM ET
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Media has no more power over economics and elections. That went away in 2016. USA is NOW energy independent. 15 million barrels of oil per day. Crazy George Bush era is over as is Obama
Andrew Hook
Andrew Hook Jan 08, 2020 2:17PM ET
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Lol soon US will become clean water dependent. Fracking is good for you and your kids.
Anonymous Vendetta
Anonymous Vendetta Jan 08, 2020 2:04PM ET
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politic issues. american just wanna war and take over some oil just as he did on iraq
Kasra Allahyari
Kasra Allahyari Jan 08, 2020 1:25PM ET
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powerful iran
Ron Warren
Ron Warren Jan 08, 2020 1:24PM ET
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If the realization that we're not powerful enough to deal with Iran doesn't take down our markets, Nothing Will.
David David
David9 Jan 08, 2020 1:22PM ET
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I told you guys ... The Hornets will sting him if he keeps poking. Looks like he is slowly backing out of the Jungle. But who knows, the Hornets might still chase him further.
Paul Wall
Paul Wall Jan 08, 2020 1:22PM ET
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the USA blew the 2nd in command with a missile and in retaliation Iran put some holes in the ground and zero casualties...
Ro Be
Ro Be Jan 08, 2020 1:22PM ET
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It's interesting you keep using the word 'poking' in relation to trump, which is exactly what you are doing, poking with your comments, trying to irritate. "Projection is a psychological defense mechanism in which individuals attribute characteristics they find unacceptable in themselves to another person."
Suresh Kumar
Suresh Kumar Jan 08, 2020 10:23AM ET
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may this is last non sense of iron
Mak WK
whitetiger Jan 08, 2020 4:51AM ET
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Iran just test their missiles aim it away from man... it is not attack at all..
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson Jan 08, 2020 4:35AM ET
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WRONG. Iran made 15 holes in the desert today. Nobody cares or even noticed. Socialist Reuters is trying make a big deal out of literally nothing.
 
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