Wall Street Set Fresh Record High Again
As Wall Street heads into corporate earnings season, U.S. equities rose to record highs anew on Tuesday as investor optimism continues to reign. The S&P 500 hit a fresh all-time high to close at 2,751.29 (+0.1%). The index is enjoying its best start to a year since 1987. For 2018, the S&P 500 is up 2.7%, notching its biggest six-day gain to kick off a year since then.
The Dow Jones jumped 102.80 points to finish the day at 25,385.80. Boeing reached an all-time high, jumping by 2.7% to $318.43. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite stayed above 7,000 as it climbed 0.1% and closed at 7,163.58.
Oil Prices Remain on Upward Trajectory
On Tuesday, U.S. crude oil rose to its highest level in more than three years, supported by OPEC-led production cuts and expectations U.S. crude inventories fell for an eighth week. The OPEC, Russia, and other are keeping supply limits in place in 2018. This is the second year of restraint in order to reduce a price-denting glut of oil held in inventories.
The U.S. crude futures jumped to $63.19 a barrel, the highest level since it hit $63.43 on Dec. 10, 2014. The contract ended the day’s session up $1.23 (2.0%) at $62.96. The international benchmark Brent crude touched $69.08, their highest level since May 2015.
Increase in U.S. Wages Predicted
Goldman Sachs is betting that there will be “renewed acceleration” in average hourly earnings growth for American workers in 2018. Chief Economist Jan Hatzius at Goldman Sachs’ European headquarters in London outlined an average hourly earnings growth forecast of 3% for 2018 versus the 2.5% in 2017.
According to Goldman Sachs, as the U.S. moves beyond full employment, wages could be set to finally increase in 2018. Hatzius added that a 3% growth is a reasonable expectation over the next 18 months, with the probability of a 3.5% top end. Their research note also projects the U.S. unemployment rate to fall to 3.5% by the end of 2018.
Kodak Rides on Bitcoin Mania
Shares of Kodak (KODK) surged as much as 125% in trading on Tuesday after the announcing their plans to join the bitcoin bandwagon. The century-old camera brand is moving from cameras to crypto currency and is investing in blockchain technology. The company is intending to launch a “photo-centric cryptocurrency” called KODAKCoin.
Observers say the move is a picture-perfect example of bitcoin mania. Many firms are riding the wave of investor interest in cryptocurrency. Prices of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, and other digital currencies are skyrocketing lately.
Toyota & Mazda Plant to Rise in Alabama
Japanese automakers Toyota Motor and Mazda Motor are expected to announce on Wednesday plans to set up a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Huntsville, Alabama. It’s going to be huge win for U.S. President Donald Trump who made a campaign promise to add manufacturing jobs in the auto industry.
The plant is projected to generate and employ 4,000 workers and build approximately 300,000 vehicles of Toyota Corollas along with other models.