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U.S. stocks rise ahead historic Singapore summit

Kitco News

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks gained some ground on Monday as investors shrugged off the weekend’s contentious meeting of the Group of 7 nations and focused on the historic United States-North Korea summit Tuesday morning in Singapore.

President Donald Trump announced the United States was withdrawing from the G7’s joint communique following a series of tweets aimed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the Canadian leader announced retaliatory actions to counter U.S. tariffs of Canadian goods.

The markets seemed to take trade skirmishes in stride and instead looked to the impending summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, an historic effort to bridge differences and deter a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula.

“The 800-hundred pound gorilla is what’s going on in Singapore,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. “It’s more than a coin toss; it’s uncharted waters. And investors are looking at where we were relative to a year ago, two years ago...when missiles were flying over Japan.”

Investors are also eyeing three of the world’s top central banks as the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan prepare to meet this week.

The Fed is widely expected to raise key interest rates on Wednesday, and on Thursday the ECB is likely to indicate that it will draw down its crisis-era euro bond purchase scheme.

“Clearly economic growth has got some momentum here in the U.S.,” Hellwig said. “Conversely, with the other developed nations, their growth is either flat or slowing, that causes some debate about what the ECB might do at its meeting this week.”

Yields of U.S. government bonds rose with the Treasury Department due to sell $54 billion in notes ahead of the Fed meeting.

At 2:18 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 55.38 points, or 0.22 percent, to 25,371.91, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 7.66 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,786.69 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 18.34 points, or 0.24 percent, to 7,663.85.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, all but utilities .SPLRCU and financials .SPSY were in positive territory.

Sempra Energy (SRE.N) was the biggest percentage gainer of the S&P 500, up 15.5 percent on the news that activist investors Elliott Management Corp and Bluescape Resources Co urged a strategic review and recommended new directors for the company’s board.

Boston Scientific Corp (BSX.N) helped boost the healthcare sector as its shares rose 9.5 percent following a Wall Street Journal report that rival Stryker Corp (SYK.N) has made overtures to acquire the medical device maker.

Facebook Inc (FB.O) was up 1.4 percent after Keybanc analysts said Instagram could be the company’s primary growth driver.

UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) rose 1.5 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Dow.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.23-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.11-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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