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S&P 500 logs 31st closing record of 2017 as stock market bounces in 'relief rally'
U.S. stocks on Monday kicked off the first full week of trading in September with a bang, underlined by the S&P 500 ending at a record, as a raft of meteorological and geopolitical jitters gave way to a re-emergence of appetite for assets perceived as risky. The S&P 500 index closed up 1.1% at 2,488, marking its first record close since Aug. 7, buoyed by gains in the technology and financials sectors. Financials, as gauged by the PowerShares KBW Bank Portfolio and the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF booked their best daily rises since June 9, according to FactSet data. Bank stocks benefited from a resurgence in benchmark Treasury yields, with the 10-year Treasury note rising to 2.13%, compared with 2.05% late Friday. Higher yields support a banks's business models. The Dow Jones Industrial Average , meanwhile, jumped about 260 points, retaking is perch above 22,000, while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 1.1%. The technology sector has often been viewed as a gauge of Wall Street's tolerance for risk, seeing heavy bidding when investors feel bullish on the market. Monday's bounce was attributed to Hurricane Irma hitting Florida with less force than feared and North Korea refraining from conducting another missile test in the Korean Peninsula, factors that last week had helped push stocks and bonds mostly lower. The relatively milder impact of Hurricane Irma helped insurers, bracing for bigger liabilities from the storm, rally, highlighted by a 3.1% advance in the PowerShares KBW Property & Casualty Insurance Portfolio , a popular exchange-traded fund used to invest in the in the sector. Art Cashin, UBS's director of floor operations, on CNBC described Monday trading as a two-pronged "sigh of relief rally." In corporate news, shares of Apple Inc. bounced 1.8% ahead of what is expected to be the debut of a fresh lineup of iPhones and other products from the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant.
Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
South Korea ETFs deepen losses as geopolitical concerns persist
Exchange-traded funds that track the South Korean equity market fell on Thursday, extending their recent weakness as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea remained elevated. The iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF lost 1.9%, building on the 2% drop it underwent in Wednesday's session. The fund is on track for its third straight daily decline, a period over which it has lost nearly 5% of its value. Thus far this week it is down about 4.3% and on track for its biggest weekly loss since January 2016, according to FactSet data. Among other funds, the Deutsche X-trackers MSCI South Korea Hedged Equity ETF fell 1.3%, the First Trust South Korea AlphaDEX Fund was down 1.6% and the Direxion Daily South Korea Bull 3X Shares , a leveraged fund that aims to offer 300% the daily move of its underlying index, dropped 5.3%. The South Korean Won fell 0.6% against the U.S. dollar, bringing its month-to-date decline to 2.4%. Global tensions appeared to escalate after North Korean army commander said, "sound dialogue" isn't possible with President Donald Trump and "only absolute force can work on him," according to state media. North Korea also laid out detailed plans of how it would launch a missile strike on U.S. military bases in Guam.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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