U.S. stocks, bond yields rise after Comey statement; oil plunges

Wed Jun 7, 2017 4:41pm EDT
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By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed higher and Treasury yields rose on Wednesday after the release of written testimony from ex-FBI chief James Comey, with investors looking ahead to his U.S. Senate appearance on Thursday, the same day as a British parliamentary vote and a European Central Bank meeting.

A smoothly executed rescue of Spain's Banco Popular lifted bank stocks in Europe, while oil prices suffered a steep slide after the U.S. government reported an unexpected increase in crude and gasoline inventories. [nL3N1J415K]

U.S. crude CLcv1 fell 5.08 percent to $45.74 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $48.12, down 3.99 percent on the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 37.46 points, or 0.18 percent, to end at 21,173.69, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 3.81 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,433.14 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 22.32 points, or 0.36 percent, to 6,297.38.

In a written statement posted on the web on Wednesday, Comey, the former FBI chief fired by President Donald Trump, said Trump asked him to back off from a probe into former national security advisor Michael Flynn and told Comey, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty."

Comey is to testify before Senators on Thursday.

Treasury prices slid after his comments were released, sending benchmark 30-, 10- and 2-year yields US30YT=RR US10YT=RR US2YT=RR to session highs.

"The market was pricing in a much worse news flow from the Comey testimony than what we saw," said Bruno Braizinha, interest rates strategist at TD Securities in New York.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid