NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks climbed up on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump’s speech that hinted at deescalation amid fears of a war with Iran, while American hiring data topped expectations.
With Trump assuring that there were no American casualties in the overnight Iranian missile strikes and that Tehran appeared to be standing down, the stocks extended gains and eased the concerns of an all-out conflict in the Middle East.
As of 11:32AM ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite were up 69.53 points (0.24 percent), 8.41 points (0.26 percent), and 23.52 points (0.26 percent), respectively, at 28,653.21, 3,245.59, and 9,092.10 points.
In its first concrete retaliation over the killing of a top Iranian commander, Iran had fired missiles at Iraqi bases hosting US and other foreign troops. So far there were no reports of casualties.
A Eurasia Group note predicted that Tehran and US President Donald Trump will de-escalate the crisis, saying the Iran attack “appeared designed for maximum domestic effect with minimum escalatory risk.”
The market’s response suggested investor relief, said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare.
“It’s not a foregone conclusion that last night’s missile attacks are the end of things but true to its resilient nature, the stock market will render its judgement on the state of affairs based on its assessment of the economic damage done by these unruly affairs,” he wrote.
Private companies added 202,000 jobs in December, according to payrolls firm ADP. The figures bested analyst expectations and came ahead of Friday’s government jobs report.
Shares of Boeing fell 2.2 percent following the fatal crash of a Ukraine International Airlines plane in Iran.
The plane, a 737-800, is a predecessor version of the Boeing 737 MAX, which has been grounded following two earlier crashes.
Analysts said it was too soon to speculate on causes of the crash, noting the calamity came amid the broader US-Iran clash.