S&P, Nasdaq hit record highs as volatility drops

S&P, Nasdaq hit record highs as volatility drops

The Nasdaq rose to a fresh record Tuesday, with Apple surpassing $800 billion in market value, but USA equities finished mostly lower on revived worries about North Korea. The US dollar index, which measures the buck against a basket of its peers, added 0.53 per cent to 99.59. A low VIX typically indicates a bullish outlook for stocks.

At 11:03am ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 8.97 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 21,021.25, the S&P 500 was up 2.03 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 2,401.41 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 23.57 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 6,126.23.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 11.72 points, or 0.19 percent, at 6,114.38, after hitting an all-time high of 6,116.47.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index dipped 0.3 percent, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 1.3 percent.

Marriott International jumped $6.13, or 6.4 percent, to $102.50 after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings for the latest quarter. The hotel operator cited improving trends around the world.

The 10-year US Treasury yield rose to its highest in a month, while gold prices fell, indicating a shift in investor preference for riskier assets.

The Russell 2000 is up 34.73 points, or 2.6 percent. Consumer staples and telecommunications services stocks also finished in the red.

Demand for stocks that pay high dividends has dulled as bonds have begun to pay more in interest.

S&P, Nasdaq hit record highs as volatility drops

The S&P 500 rose 3.6 points or 0.15% to 2,403.

The S&P 500 index showed 19 52-week highs and no lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 37 highs and 11 lows.

S&P 500 earnings on average have grown 14.4 percent, up from 10.1 percent estimated at the start of the earnings season, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

EVERYONE REMAINS CALM: Markets have been placid, as investors keep crossing off reasons to fear. Last week's solid jobs report gave reassurance that the US economy is improving despite a weak showing at the start of the year. And last weekend's presidential election in France raised confidence that voters may be turning their backs on a nationalistic brand of politics that could hurt global trade.

The market has become so calm that an index used to measure fear among traders is close to its lowest in more than two decades.

"At the same time the VIX index tracking S&P 500 volatility fell to a 24 year low".

The euro fell to $1.0869 from $1.0930 late Monday.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 36 cents to $46.07 per barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, fell 61 cents to $48.73 a barrel. Oil futures fell almost 1% in NY to settle just above $46.00 a barrel.

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