Friday 22nd September, 2017
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Merck lifts Dow S&P, as Nasdaq remains flat ahead of Trump speech

Merck lifts Dow S&P, as Nasdaq remains flat ahead of Trump speech

Healthcare stocks boost the Dow ear­ly on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were flat ahead of Donald Trump’s first formal news conference, where he is expected to give more insight into his plans to boost eco­nomic growth.

The U.S. President-elect, who takes office on January 20, is scheduled to speak in New York at 11:00 a.m. ET (1600 GMT).

Trump’s election in No­vember sparked a record-set­ting rally. But, investors now want evidence on if and how he keeps his campaign-trail promises of stimulating the economy though increased public spending, tax cuts and repatriating U.S. companies’ funds from overseas.

The dollar which has also basked in Trump’s victory, rose to 102.53. However, con­cerns over some of his protec­tionist statements have kept in­vestors wary.

Oil prices also helped keep the equity market afloat, ris­ing for the first time in three days after Saudi Arabia provid­ed details of a February supply cut to some of its Asian cus­tomers.

“The overall technical pic­ture for the stock market re­mains firm and we look for commodities to be the mar­ket leaders of the day, thereby, keeping the markets upward trend in place,” Peter Cardi­llo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, said in a note.

Investors are also closely watching the corporate earn­ings season, which kicks off with big banks on Friday, to see if financial results can sup­port the lofty valuations Wall Street is trading at.

The combined profit of S&P 500 companies is estimated to have risen 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter - the best in three years - largely helped by financials stocks, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.