Midday Update: Bargain Hunting Props Up Wall Street as Geopolitical Tensions Subside

Wall Street's major market averages were trading with outsized gains Monday as investor's risk appetite returned after U.S. government officials downplayed the risk for war with North Korea, and bargain-hunting surfaced in the beaten down financial sector after four straight days of losses.

All S&P 500 sectors were in the green led by significant gains in the financial, real estate and technology sectors.

Weighed down by last week's sell-off tied to geopolitical risks, buying opportunities were created over the weekend when Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that regime change and an "accelerated reunification of Korea" is not the U.S.'s agenda. Additionally, China complied with a U.N. resolution banning imports of industrial metals and seafood from North Korea, bolstering global pressure on the rogue nation.

These developments overshadowed downbeat industrial production and retail sales data from China, propping up bourses across Europe by at least 1%. Europe was also focused on strong Japanese gross domestic product data which showed annualized growth rate of the economy was its strongest in two years.

Related markets reflect the risk-on trade with gold trading lower, the dollar stronger, and U.S. Treasury yields higher in the middle and longer-end of the yield curve.

Crude oil was down $0.61 to $48.21 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.05 to $2.96 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $3.20 to $1,290.80 an ounce, while silver was up $0.02 to $17.09 an ounce. Copper was down $0.01 to $2.90 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 1.10% to $9.88 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 1.57% to $6.58. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 0.95% to 22.93 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.60% to $122.11. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.06% to $16.16.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:


NYSE Composite Index was up 112.73 points (+0.96%) to 11,875.94

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 156.64 points (+0.72%) to 22,014.43

S&P 500 was up 25.16 points (+1.03%) to 2,466.29

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 77.18 points (+1.23%) to 6,333.68


FTSE 100 was up 43.93 points (+0.60%) to 7,353.89

DAX was up 151.06 points (+1.26%) to 12,165.12

CAC 40 was up 60.75 points (+1.20%) to 5,121.67

Nikkei 225 was down 192.64 points (-0.98%) to 19,537.10

Hang Seng Index was up 366.72 points (+1.36%) to 27,250.23

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 28.82 points (+0.90%) to 3,237.36


NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 39.48 points (+0.39%) to 10,105.12

NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 114.47 points (+1.53%) to 7,604.65

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 61.56 points (+0.46%) to 13,494.90


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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