Wall Street ticks up as fear over North Korea dissipates

Elias Hubbard
August 30, 2017

Investors turned to safe haven assets such as gold, which spiked nearly 3% on Tuesday.

"What it tells you is a slight risk-off trade".

On Monday, stocks closed little changed as investors digested the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which crippled Houston and other parts of South Texas.

But oil stocks continued to take a battering as Hurricane Harvey left more than 20 per cent of USA production in the Gulf of Mexico off line.

US crude futures, dipped 2.4 percent to $46.72 over concerns that the refinery shutdowns could reduce demand for American crude.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 11 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,433.

Oil majors Exxon and Chevron were down about 0.5 percent. "I didn't see it as something to have a significant impact on the market and lo and behold everything has rallied back".

Elsewhere, the December gold contract advanced $3.60 to US$1,318.90 an ounce, the October natural gas contract rose 2.2 cents to $2.98 per mmBTU, and the December copper contract gained about 1.9 cents to US$3.10 a pound.

US economic growth had more than halved in the quarter after Hurricane Katrina mauled Louisiana in August 2005.

The broader S&P 500, which comprises many U.S. companies based in Houston, Texas, moved barely into positive territory to end at 2,446.30, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.3 per cent to 6,301.89. The Nasdaq composite added 7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,290.

Nike fell 2.0 percent to $52.65 after Morgan Stanley cut its price target by $4, to $64.

"When the President says 'All options are on the table, ' the best strategy for investors is sometimes to do nothing", said Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Home Depot was up 1 percent, while Lowe's rose 0.52 percent as investors expected the two largest USA home improvement chains to be among the biggest beneficiaries of post-Harvey recovery.

Declining and advancing issues were about even on the NYSE; on Nasdaq, a 1.18-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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