US stocks continued to climb to new highs at week’s end, virtually ignoring the possibility of a US government shutdown at midnight. The Dow Jones industrials, S&P and Nasdaq all closed at new record highs. The Dow was up 0.2 percent, the S&P added 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.6 percent. On the holiday shortened week the Dow and Nasdaq were up 1.0 percent while the S&P was 0.9 percent higher.
Retailers, banks and consumer goods companies accounted for much of the gains. Energy stocks declined along with crude oil prices. Utilities also declined as bond yields edged up to their highest level in more than three years. The market rally suggested that the possibility of a federal government shutdown this weekend wasn't worrying traders. At market close on Friday, despite eleventh-hour effort to reach an agreement, there was no sign that a government shutdown would be averted before a midnight Friday (US Eastern Time) deadline. A continuing budget resolution late Friday night failed to pass the Senate and the government duly closed at one minute after midnight.
Mattel climbed. Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Universal, Nike and Campbell Soup also advanced. Banks and other financial stocks also rose. Synchrony Financial gained. Lowe's was higher after the home-improvement supply retailer named three new directors. However, IBM slumped despite a solid fourth quarter report. American Express retreated after the credit card issuer suspended its share buy-back program for six months following a big one-time tax charge.
These data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET. Gold at the afternoon London fixing was up US$2.75 to US$1,334.95. Copper futures were down 0.36 percent to US$3.19. WTI spot crude was down 58 US cents to US$63.37. Dated Brent spot crude was down 70 US cents to US$68.61. The US dollar was up against the euro, pound, Swiss franc and the Canadian dollar. It retreated against the yen and was virtually unchanged against the Australian dollar. The Dollar Index was up 0.2 percent. The yield on the US Treasury 30 year bond was up 3 basis points to 2.93 percent while the 10 year note was up 4 basis points to 2.66 percent.