US stocks score first gain of year
NEW YORK, United States – US stocks registered their first gains of the new year Tuesday (Wednesday, January 8 in Manila), with the Nasdaq adding nearly 1%, helped by a solid November trade report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 105.84 points (0.64%) at 16,530.94.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 11.11 (0.61%) at 1,837.88, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 39.50 (0.96%) at 4,153.18.
The gains cut a three-session losing streak that began on the first trading day of the year.
The US monthly trade gap fell to $34.3 billion in November, the smallest shortfall since September 2009, helped by a drop in oil imports and a gain in exports to a record $194.9 billion.
Shares also got a boost after a key political issue was cleared late Monday when the Senate voted to approve Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve.
Yellen will now take the lead at the Fed on February 1.
JPMorgan Chase shares lost 1.2% after the Justice Department and banking regulators ordered it to pay $2.24 billion to victims of the 2008 Madoff Ponzi scheme and another $350 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for its role as the main banker for jailed financier Bernard Madoff.
UnitedHealth Group led the Dow, adding 3.1% helped by an upgrade from analysts at Deutsche Bank.
Twitter continued to fall, losing 7.3% on analyst doubts about its valuation. On Monday Morgan Stanley cut its price target to $33, saying Facebook and Google were better online advertising plays. Twitter finished Tuesday at $61.46.
Volatile Netflix meanwhile gave up 5.6% after Morgan Stanley cut its rating for the streaming video company, one of 2013's top gainers.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.94% from 2.96% Monday, and the 30-year dropped to 3.88% from 3.9%. Bond prices and yields move inversely. – Rappler.com