The major domestic equity indexes rose on Wednesday despite a sharp decline in energy shares after written testimony from former FBI director James Comey did not add major revelations about an investigation into Russian meddling with last year’s presidential election.
Comey, who was fired by Trump last month, wrote that President Trump asked him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. However, the details of Comey’s testimony, expected to be delivered Thursday to a Senate Committee, appeared to be priced into the stock market.
The Street’s concern is that any additional revelation could dampen already flagging momentum for Trump’s agenda of lower taxes and lax regulations. Bets that Trump can implement his agenda are partly behind a rally that has taken stock indexes to record highs.
Wall Street was weighed down by a near 2-percent drop in the S&P 500’s energy sector. All but two of the 34 components of the sector fell as domestic crude futures fell 5 percent due to an unexpected rise in inventories. Brent crude fell nearly 4 percent.
The largest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Signet Jewelers, which rose 4 percent, while the largest decliner was Newfield Exploration, down 7 percent.
The Street is also keeping an eye on Britain’s general election and the European Central Bank’s policy meeting, both on Thursday. Opinion polls have shown Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s lead over the opposition Labor party narrow over the last three weeks, with some even suggesting she could fall short of a majority government.
The election comes as Britain maps its exit from the European Union following a referendum on the subject last year. At the same time, the ECB is expected to reiterate its plan to maintain a very accommodative monetary policy at least until the end of the year.
Volume on the major domestic equity exchanges was 6.60 billion shares, a number that was roughly in line with the average over the last 20 trading days.
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