U.S. Stocks Turn Positive After Tillerson Denies Plans to Resign

Wall Street’s major market indicators have all flipped into positive territory as a high-ranking administration official dismissed rumors of his resignation, and economic data indicated significant growth in the services sector of the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq have all set record highs with the S&P extending its winning streak to a seventh straight day.

Stocks were mixed early on as investors cashed in on recent profits in the technology sector, with comments from President Donald Trump about a possible forgiveness of Puerto Rico’s debt weighing on shares of investment banks.

Economic data was marginally supportive as the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index hit a 12-year high of 59.8 from August’s 55.3, overshadowing a slight decline in the corresponding purchasing managers index, and a below-consensus increase in private payrolls.

After struggling to turn positive, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq perked up when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson assured Americans he is not resigning his post despite media reports of dissention between him and Trump. Tillerson has been instrumental in pacifying North Korea and keeping geopolitical risks from plaguing Wall Street.

European markets were mixed as the separatist movement in Spain’s Catalonia region continues to weigh on most EU-zone bourses. The UK’s FTSE-100 closed lower on Wednesday as a result of gains in the pound on upbeat UK services sector data.

Crude oil was up $0.05 to $50.47 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.06 to $2.96 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $1.40 to $1,276.10 an ounce, while silver was down $0.01 to $16.64 an ounce. Copper was down $0.002 to $2.96 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.25% to $10.20 with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 1.98% to $6.43. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.46% to 23.34, while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.15% to $121.01. The iShares Silver Trust was unchanged at $15.71.

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