The New York Stock Exchange rose slightly shortly after Thursday’s opening as investors watched the ongoing Washington tax reform talks and the federal state budget: the Dow Jones took 0.19% and the Nasdaq 0, 25%.
Around 15H05 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the flagship index of Wall Street, grappillait 46,10 points to 24,187.01 points, after starting in the red.
The Nasdaq, dominated by technology, took 17.24 points at 6,793.61 points.
The broad S & P 500 index, which also started the day down, was up 0.08%, or 2.02 points, to 2,631.29 points.
Uncertain since the beginning of the week, Wall Street had ended again without frank direction Wednesday, particularly hesitating between the sectors of energy and technology: the Dow had lost 0.16% while the Nasdaq had won 0.21 %.
“With the tax reform being negotiated between the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the specter of a federal government closure if an agreement is not reached before Friday at midnight, it is not surprising to see the market participants curb a little the enthusiasm that inhabited them there is still a week, “commented Patrick O’Hare Briefing.
The federal state is indeed funded only until Friday night and if the Congress does not adopt a new law of funding before that date, its officials deemed non-essential will have to stay at home. This happened for the last time in 2013 because of a stand-off between Republicans and former President Barack Obama.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Congress that from Friday the Treasury would use exceptional accounting measures to stay below the debt ceiling. This could leave a margin of several months before the administrative services are forced to close for lack of funding.
As for tax reform, “reaching a compromise between the two assemblies will not be easy because there are still significant differences between the two versions that must be ironed out,” said Charles Schwab’s Hayden Adams.
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Investors are also waiting for the release Friday of the official monthly report on the US labor market, always scrutinized closely because it is considered an important gauge of the health of the country’s economy.
The figures released Thursday on employment were in this respect rather encouraging: weekly jobless claims in the United States fell very slightly, contradicting analysts’ forecasts.
On the values front, General Electric advanced 0.66% to 17.78 dollars. Its energy branch GE Power has announced a reduction of its global workforce of about 12,000 positions as part of a broad restructuring plan to “strengthen” its competitiveness.
The Broadcom semiconductor group rose 2.07% to $ 269.34 after posting fourth-quarter revenue and earnings higher than expected.
The discount chain Dollar General (+ 2.62% to $ 93.23) also reported results that exceeded expectations and raised its annual sales forecast.
Sportswear salesman Lululemon jumped 7.80% to 72.94 dollars after also announcing quarterly results above expectations, and raising its annual forecast.
The bond market rose: the yield on 10-year Treasury bills declined to 2.323%, against 2.393% on Tuesday evening and that of 30-year bills to 2.701%, against 2.730% the day before.