Wall Street up 1 percent as Irma, North Korea fears ease

Wall Street up 1 percent as Irma, North Korea fears ease

Wall Street up 1 percent as Irma, North Korea fears ease

Geopolitical tensions also eased as North Korea held a massive celebration on its founding day on Saturday, instead of another long-range missile launch as the United States and its allies were bracing for. Dow futures gained 0.6 percent to 21,889.00 and broader S&P 500 futures added 0.5 percent to 5,164.07.

Meanwhile, concerns about Hurricane Irma's impact on the US economy decreased. On the Nasdaq, 2,062 issues rose and 790 fell.

With investors less anxious about Irma's impact, insurers Universal Insurance Holdings and HCI Group surged more than 12 per cent, while Heritage Insurance soared 21 per cent.

The group was up 0.6 percent, with Brookfield Asset Management rising 1.7 percent to C$48.18, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd advancing 2.5 percent to C$611.29. Travelers jumped about 3.5 percent, leading the Dow higher. Home Depot dropped $2.05, or 1.3 percent, to $157.61 and Lowe's declined $1.09, or 1.4 percent, to $77.47.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the US dollar against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.6%, after sinking to its lowest level in more than two years on Friday.

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Gold prices fell on Monday from the previous session's 13-month high as relief that North Korea did not conduct a missile test over the weekend helped to lift global stocks, the US dollar and bond yields.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note tumbled, boosting yields to 2.14% from Friday's 2.06%.

Meanwhile, speculative investment in gold increased as hedge funds and money managers raised their net long position in COMEX gold for the eighth week in a row to the highest in almost a year. High-dividend stocks like phone and utility companies traded higher but didn't do as well as the rest of the market. Apple (AAPL.O) rose almost 2 percent a day ahead of the launch of the new iPhone, providing the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and S&P.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.12 yen from 107.79 yen late Friday. The euro dipped to $1.2016 from $1.2038.

In the tech sector, BlackBerry picked up 15 cents, or 1.4%, to $11.09, while Constellation Software added $3.02 to $682.20. With electronic card sales accounting for around two-thirds of retail sales, the RBNZ will be taking a close look at the numbers and the possible effects on the economy over the near-term, with the key being whether consumer confidence continues to remain positive, supported by relatively stable household income, softer consumer prices coming off the back of a bounce in the Kiwi Dollar and continued weakness in crude oil prices. The FTSE 100 index in Britain picked up 0.5 percent. Traditional haven assets, such as gold and the Japanese yen pulled back on Monday, while equities saw marked gains, led by a 1.4% gain for the Nikkei 225 index. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 percent to 5,713.10.

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