Wall Street steadies, Dow Jones gains 19 points, U.S. dollar surges

NEW YORK, New York – Investors were divided on Thursday as to where to send U.S. stocks. Jitters about inflation, potential interest rate hikes, and the next Fed moves continued to keep buyers at bay.

After bobbing in and out of negative territory, the Dow Jones in the end managed an 18.72 points or 0.06 percent gain to 33,999.04.

The Nasdaq Composite edged up 27.32 points or 0.21 percent to 12,965.34.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 added 9.70 points or 0.24 percent to 4,283.74.

“We’re at a point where people are trying to make a judgment about whether the inevitable higher interest rates are going to choke off the upside of the market,” Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey, told Reuters Thursday.

“There are really two camps, one who feels the worst is behind us and continues to buy these selloffs, and the camp that feels the worst is ahead of us and like this is some kind of bear market rally that will retreat.”

On foreign exchange markets the U.S. dollar surged. The euro buckled to 1.009 by the New York close Thursday. The British pound tanked to 1.1933. The Japanese yen fell to 135.89. The Swiss franc retreated to 0.9563.

The Canadian dollar weakened to 1.2937. The Australian dollar dropped to 0.6921. The New Zealand dollar was friendless at 0.6260.On overseas equity markets, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.35 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 was up 0.45 percent. The German Dax added 0.52 percent.

It was all gloom on Asian markets. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.96 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.46 percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 0.80 percent.

The Australian All Ordinaries retreated 0.32 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50, and South Korea’s Kospi Composite, both shed 0.33 percent.

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