U.S. stocks end mixed as markets await Trump press conference

Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:58pm EST
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By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks end Tuesday mixed, while the dollar falls against the yen on investor caution ahead of a news conference by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday.

European stock markets, which had opened broadly lower .STOXX, closed the day on a firmer note, while Wall Street shares closed mixed, but with the Nasdaq Composite reaching an intra-day record peak.

Commodities such as copper gained on further signs of a pick-up in China's economy. Oil prices were lower on the day but off their weakest levels of the previous session when they fell nearly 4 percent.

In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 0.2 percent, to 19,855.53, while the S&P 500 .SPX ended flat at 2,268.90, as gains in healthcare and financials offset a drop in energy shares. Nasdaq .IXIC, on the other hand, rose 0.4 percent to 5,551.82.

"Significant fiscal stimulus is being discussed when the U.S. economy is already healthy," said Richard Bernstein, chief investment officer at Richard Bernstein Advisors (RBA) in New York. RBA oversees $3 billion in assets.

"On paper, this would imply stronger stock markets, stronger commodity markets, and weaker bond markets," he added.

U.S. stocks have risen in the last two months in anticipation of easier fiscal policy based on Trump's campaign promises of increased infrastructure spending and tax cuts.

European stocks also ended higher, with Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 adding 0.1 percent to finish at 1,439.26. Earlier the index reached a record high.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson