Market Insights 2/12/2020

U.S. equities notched record highs today, as the anxiety over the impact of the coronavirus has faded somewhat amid early signs the outbreak may be slowing.

The U.S dollar gained ground with the higher yields. Crude oil prices and gold were higher. Global equities joined their U.S. counterparts in the green for the day.

The Markets…

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 275 points (0.9%) to 29,551,

The S&P 500 rose 23 points (0.7%) to 3,381 and

The NASDAQ rose 87 points (0.9%) to 9,726.

Volume was brisk with 929 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.3 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ.

WTI oil rose $1.23 to $51.17 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was up $0.07 to $1.58 per gallon. Elsewhere,

The Bloomberg gold spot price added $1.50 to $1,571.60 per ounce.

The Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was up 0.3% to 99.0.

Mortgage applications rise with increased refi activity

The MBA Mortgage Application Index rose by 1.1% last week, following the prior week’s 5.0% gain. The increase came as a 5.0% rise in the Refinance Index more than offset a 5.8% decline for the Purchase Index. The average 30-year mortgage rate ticked 1 basis point higher to 3.72%.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be released tomorrow with expectations of a 0.2% month-over-month increase and 2.4% year-over-year. Initial Jobless Claims are expected to come in at 210,000, which would mark a small rise over last week, but remaining at historic lows.

Europe mostly higher as virus concerns fade

Global equities were mostly higher, with potential signs that the spreading of the coronavirus may be slowing supporting the extension of a recent global market rebound.

In global economic news, the markets shrugged off a larger-than-expected drop in Eurozone industrial production. Australia offered an upbeat read on domestic consumer confidence.

In India, inflation data came in higher than expected. The euro and Japanese yen dipped versus the U.S. dollar, though the British pound gained ground. Global bond yields were mixed.

The U.K. FTSE 100 Index was up 0.5%, Germany’s DAX Index rose 0.9%, France’s CAC-40 Index increased 0.8%, Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.7%, and Spain’s IBEX 35 Index advanced 0.6%, while Switzerland’s Swiss Market Index dipped 0.1%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index gained 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi Index also traded 0.7% to the upside, and China’s Shanghai Composite Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index both advanced 0.9%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.5%. India’s S&P BSE Sensex 30 Index increased 0.9%.