The major domestic equity indexes demonstrated a valiant effort to regain much of the ground lost on Tuesday, much of which came late on Wednesday as Wall Street did its best to brush off geopolitical concerns after falling in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” warning to North Korea.
Bargain-seeking investors instead turned their focus to strength in the global economy and earnings toward the end of an active trading day. The day before they had rushed to safe-haven assets after strongly worded exchanges between Washington and nuclear-armed North Korea late on Tuesday. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not believe there was an imminent threat.
After a dip of as much as 0.52 percent earlier in the day, Wall Street’s three major indexes bounced off intraday lows. Politics lifted defense stocks such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman. The Dow Jones defense index was up 1.6 percent after hitting a record high.
The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, ended at a session low of 11.11 after rising as high as 12.63.
Six of the S&P 500 sectors ended higher. The consumer discretionary sector was hit the hardest with a 0.47 percent decline. Its largest drags were Priceline and Walt Disney.
Disney shares ended the trading day down 3.9 percent as investors were skeptical of its plan to launch streaming services rather than rely on Netflix. Priceline fell 6.9 percent after a disappointing financial forecast.
After the bell, Twenty-First Century Fox climbed 0.7 percent following the release of its results.
Approximately 6.48 billion shares changed hands on the major equity exchanges as compared to the 6.16 billion share average over the past 20 sessions.
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