A solid week of gains on Wall Street delivered the kind of present most investors were hoping for at Christmas, with blue chips at their highs for the year and prospects upbeat for next year. \nThe Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 blue-chip companies gained 2.35 percent in the week to Friday to end at 10,278,22, extending its rally to stay well above the psychological 10,000 mark and holding at its highest level since May last year. \nThe NASDAQ composite mean-while edged up 0.1 percent for the week to 1,951.02 and the broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 index rallied 1.35 percent to 1,088.66. \nInvestors appear content to sit on their gains after a rally of more than nine months that has pushed the Dow up some 37 percent from lows in mid-March. \nIn the same period the NASDAQ has surged 53 percent and the S&P 500 has gained 36 percent. \nOver the past week, the event that first appeared as a strong catalyst -- the capture of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein -- fizzled out, even though the markets managed to move higher later in the week. \nSmith Barney equity strategist Tobias Levkovich cautioned investors against betting too much on a single event. \nLimited effect \n"Terrorism is unlikely to stop as a result and regional stability was never just one arrest away," Levkovich said. \nPaul Nolte, director of investments at Hinsdale Associates, said the harder task would be to determine what happens next. \n"Eventually it [the capture of Saddam] was to happen, and the reaction would be predictable, however we can also argue rather convincingly that it does little to alter the US economy and change corporate/consumer attitudes about spending," Nolte said. \nWhile investors appear to be rejoicing over the holiday season, strategists are plotting their course for next year with some caution. Even though the economic backdrop appears favorable, a repeat of this strong year appears unlikely. \n"We think that the economic cycle is in a later stage than many observers believe it is," said Richard Bernstein at Merrill Lynch. \nWhile smaller companies helped the NASDAQ to outsized gains this year, Bernstein and others say more established companies will take over the leadership. \n"The stock market has gone through a textbook sector rotation during the past couple of years ... Based on that rotation, we continue to think that investors should shift their portfolios toward later-cycle stocks such as those in the materials and energy sectors," he said. \nSung Won Sohn at Wells Fargo Bank said Wall Street will be keeping a close watch on the Federal Reserve and its moves to boost interst rates, which is likely to happen sometime next year. \n"The current bull market will continue as long as the central bank pursues easy monetary policy," he said. \nDiscount rate \n"Equities do not perform well when the Federal Reserve raises the fed funds rate, leading to higher bond yields. It increases the effective discount rate for equities ... In any case, 2004 will be a challenging year for equities," Sohn said. \nEconomic growth will slow and the earnings momentum will lose steam. Under these circumstances, the stock market will be volatile and won't be as vibrant as 2003 has been," Sohn said. \nBonds firmed on expectations of low inflation and low interest rates from the Fed. \nThe yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond dipped to 4.133 percent from 4.242 percent a week earlier and that on the 30-year bond to 4.961 percent from 5.088 percent. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion