Stocks Edge Higher in Choppy Trading; Oil Sinks: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks edged higher in volatile trading as investors considered the potential for a virus that emerged in China to eventually dent economic growth. Oil tumbled on concern the market is oversupplied.

The S&P 500 Index ended the day up less than 0.1%, lifted by gains in technology shares and positive earnings reports but held back by concern that the deadly respiratory illness could spread, even as China moved to contain the outbreak. IBM (NYSE:) rose the most in four months after revenue beat estimates. Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc.’s market value soared past $100 billion.

With stocks trading near records, investors are on alert for any developments that could derail the momentum. They have taken a cautious stance amid concern the coronavirus that has already killed 17 people could turn into a global pandemic.

“The fear is that it could hurt growth, that this could continue to have an impact on global markets that are already reeling from the impacts of trade,” said Matt Forester, chief investment officer at BNY Mellon’s Lockwood Advisors.

Elsewhere, the Index dipped as Italian banks slumped amid a fresh bout of political turmoil.

West Texas oil fell below $58 a barrel as ample global supplies offset the loss of exports from Libya. The pound strengthened after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal cleared its final hurdles in Parliament.

Here are some events to watch out for this week:

  • Companies including Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:) Inc., Intel Corp (NASDAQ:). and Procter & Gamble Co. will post results.
  • Policy decisions are due from central banks in Indonesia and the euro region.
  • The World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of global leaders in politics, business and culture, continues in Davos, Switzerland.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index rose less than 0.1% at the close of trade in New York.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.6%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%.
  • The British pound jumped 0.6% to $1.3134.
  • The euro rose 0.1% to $1.109.
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 109.87 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 1.77%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield dipped one basis point to -0.26%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.63%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 2.9% to $56.67 a barrel.
  • Gold was little changed at $1,558.55 an ounce.
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