U.S. stocks erased gains made earlier in the day Tuesday on positive corporate earnings after traders were spooked by a bomb scare at a soccer game in Hannover, Germany. (Concerns turned out to be unfounded.) Meanwhile, global oil prices tipped lower as concern over a global supply glut returned.
The U.S. dollar marched to a seven-month high against other major currencies after the U.S. Commerce Department said inflation rose 0.2 percent following two consecutive months of declines.
“The strong appreciation of the U.S. dollar [since mid-October] weighed heavily on prices, as markets brought forward their expectation of the first Fed rate hike to December,” Caroline Bain, senior commodities economist at Capital Economics, said in a research note.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Fed will release the minutes of its October meeting when Fed Chair Janet Yellen called the first rate increase in nearly a decade a “live possibility.” Since then, a robust jobs report and Tuesday’s inflation data will strengthen the argument that the U.S. economy is strong enough to shoulder a liftoff in the cost of borrowing, also known as monetary tightening.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) closed up a slight 6.49 points, or 0.04 percent, to 17,490, on Monday after an intra-day rise of 148 points. The Dow began dropping after news of a bomb scare during a friendly match between Germany and the Netherlands in Germany spooked traders after markets closed in Europe.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped 2.75 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,050. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 1.40 points, or 0.03 percent, to 4,986.
Seven out of 10 S&P 500 sectors were down, with the steepest drops in energy and utilities. Dow gains were led by Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD). The nation’s largest seller of discretionary goods (things people buy that aren’t part of their necessary monthly budgets) reported better than expected revenue and earnings. Dow declines were led by Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) amid a raft of layoffs linked to a global decline in demand for its heavy equipment.
Global crude prices resumed their slide as concern over supply disruptions subsided following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark for oil prices, lost 2.37 percent to $40.75 per barrel for December delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil prices, gained 2.00 percent to $43.67 for January delivery on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
Asian markets closed up Tuesday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 gaining 236.94 points, or 1.22 percent, to 19,631 after Monday’s sell-off over news that Japan had tipped into recession. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 253.43 points, or 1.15 percent, to 22,264 points while the mainland’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped a slight 2.16 points, or 0.06 percent, to 3,605.
European markets rallied Monday, with Paris’ CAC 40 rising 133.00 points, or 2.77 percent, to 4,937. The German Dax gained 257.81 points, or 2.41 percent, to 10,971. London’s FTSE rose 122.38 points, or 1.99 percent, to 6,269.