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14-Oct2017

US markets closed higher; Nasdaq records all-time high

The US markets closed higher on Friday, with Nasdaq recording an all-time high, as President Donald Trump delivered a speech decertifying a nuclear agreement with Iran. Upbeat earnings reports from banks and the highest consumer-sentiment reading in 13 years supported modest buying. Against that backdrop, the Trump administration said it won't certify Iran's compliance with a 2015 nuclear agreement, declaring Tehran a regime that continues to sponsor terrorism and alleging that Iran intimidated international expectations sent to inspect it from building up nuclear armaments. The president also ended billions of dollars in subsidies to insurers under the Affordable Care Act program. The White House said the government can't lawfully make the payments as there is no appropriation for them.

Meanwhile, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said that he thinks the US Federal Reserve should periodically review its inflation target and other frameworks. He added that while he and his colleagues at the Fed did have discussions a more formalized review of these targets and frameworks every number of years and to be seen more formally to have that might be an advisable thing. Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said that the US central bank's priority must be to get inflation back to its 2 percent target. He also said the labor market may still have further room to run, despite low unemployment.

On the economy front, the consumer-price index rose 0.5% in September, the second increase in a row and the largest in eight months. Stripping out volatile food and energy costs, core CPI rose at a much smaller 0.1% rate. A reading on retail sales showed a rise of 1.6% in September, reflecting the largest increase in 2½ years, coming in line with Wall Street expectations. The University of Michigan's preliminary reading of the consumer-sentiment index for October came in at 101.1, marking its highest level since 2004.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 30.71 points or 0.13 percent to 22,871.72, the Nasdaq gained 14.29 points or 0.22 percent to 6,605.80, and the S&P 500 edged higher by 2.24 points or 0.09 percent to 2,553.17.


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