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[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]
[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]



Market Digest Online FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2018: The Nasdaq composite closed lower for a fourth straight day on Thursday, notching its longest losing streak since November 2016. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 snapped a two-day slide, but closed well off the highs as worries about rising rates lingered.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the session 0.1 percent lower at 7,210.09. At its session high, it rose as much as 0.9 percent. But declines in Netflix, Google-parent Alphabet and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology exchange-traded fund (IBB) pressured the index lower.

The Dow closed 164.70 points higher at 24,962.48, with United Technologies as its best-performing stock. The 30-stock index rose as much as 358.94 points earlier in the session. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 ended Thursday's session 0.1 percent higher at 2,703.96 after a rollover in the final hour of trading. The broad index gained as much as 1.1 percent.

The major averages gave up sharp gains on Wednesday after a summary from the Federal Reserve's January meeting sent the benchmark 10-year U.S. note yield to its highest level in four years. The Dow closed 166 points lower, having risen as much as 303 points. On Thursday, the 10-year yield traded off its four-year high at 2.921 percent.

"The minutes convey a clear sense that inflation is more on their minds than the FOMC statement indicated," Steve Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard, said in a note. "The minutes gave readers conviction that only a sea change will stay the Fed from four 25bp rate rises in 2018. One might think this trajectory puts the Fed behind economic activity, but market odds-setters still very much lag the Fed, pricing in only about a 25% chance of four hikes this year."

Investors got more news out of the Fed on Thursday. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said things continue to "look up" for the U.S. economy. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, meanwhile, said that too many rate hikes could slow down the economy too much. New York Fed President William Dudley delivered prepared remarks, but did not address monetary policy.

Earlier this month, stocks suffered their first 10 percent pullback since early 2016. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all closed in correction territory on Feb. 8. The move lower was sparked, in part, by fears of rising inflation and higher interest rates.

"If interest rates move higher slowly, ... then I think the market will be calm," said Tim Courtney, chief investment officer at Exencial Wealth Advisors. "But if they go up quickly, we could see another wild ride" in the market.


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