Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are being cheered this morning after the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared to hits highest level in a year. Materials and financials are surging, while gold is also touching on new highs.
The markets were mainly lifted by a pledge from the Group of 20 to keep their stimulus measures in place. Traders saw the announcement as a signal the interest rates would stay low for the time being, report Ieva M. Augstums and Tim Paradis for the Associated Press.
Tropical Storm Ida is making its way through the Gulf of Mexico, and oil companies have begun evacuating their workers. The storm was downgraded from a Category 1 earlier today, says Chris Kahn for the Associated Press. The path would put the storm east of New Orleans and away from most oil and gas facilities in the Gulf, but companies want to be prepared if things change. Oil fields in the Gulf make up about 25% of U.S. crude production and 15% of natural gas production.
Oil prices are hovering around $80 a barrel this morning on concerns about Ida as well as a weaker dollar. United States Oil (NYSEArca: USO) is up nearly 3% this morning.
The weakness of the dollar sent gold prices to a new record trading high of $1,109.90. It continues last week’s rally, when gold gained 5% on speculation that central banks would begin buying more of it as an alternative to the dollar. SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) is up about 1% this morning.
Cadbury (NYSE: CBY) has rejected the latest bid from Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT). The hostile bid of $16.4 billion was turned down after Kraft refused to improve its last offer. PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage (NYSEArca: PBJ) is up about 1% this morning.
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