STOCKS CLIMB: Here's what you need to know

Stocks climbed higher on Wednesday as banks rallied and investors awaited Thursday’s Senate testimony from former FBI director James Comey.

All three major indices rose more than 0.1%, shrugging off Comey’s prepared remarks to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The gauges all closed at record highs on Friday.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 21,167.05, +30.82, (+0.15%)
  • S&P 500: 2,432.40, +3.06, (+0.13%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,296.05, +21.07, (+0.34%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.178%, +0.031
  • WTI crude oil: $US45.75, -2.44, -5.06%

1. Cash-rich companies are king in the stock market right now. With the Federal Reserve expected to hike interest rates later this month, equity investors are seeking companies well-equipped to withstand tighter lending conditions. In other words, stocks with strong balance sheets.

2. America’s hottest investment product has created ‘the greatest bubble ever’. So says Horizon Kinetics co-founder Steven Bregman about ETFs. He argues that the trend was accelerated by a “yield crisis.”

3. Traders are piling into Bill Ackman’s favourite short bet: Herbalife. Now that shares have started to weaken, the billionaire hedge fund manager is starting to make some money back, and he has plenty of company in the form of short sellers.

4. Oil got demolished. Data released by the Energy Information Administration showed an unexpected inventory build, sending the price of resource lower.

5. Trump’s ‘bark has been worse than his bite’ when it comes to trade, Neil Shearing, the chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, said at the firm’s Annual Conference in New York on Wednesday.


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