Stocks edge up as investors await Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un
U.S. stock indexes edged up Monday as investors made preparations for President Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.78 points, or less than 0.1%, to 25,322.31. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.97 points, or 0.1%, to 2,782.00. The Nasdaq composite rose 14.41 points, or 0.2%, to 7,659.93. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks ticked up 2.19 points, or 0.1%, to 1,674.68.
Investors spent most of Monday waiting for Tuesday’s meeting between Trump and Kim, aimed at settling a standoff over the North’s nuclear arsenal. North Korea reportedly has said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits. But many say Kim’s government is unlikely to give up weapons that help guarantee its survival.
If successful, the meeting would lower geopolitical tensions in an area that involves three of the world’s largest economies: South Korea, Japan and China.
“There’s a lot of potential volatility that could come this week: We have the Trump-Kim summit and the central bank meetings,” said Ryan Larson, head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Capital Markets. “A lot of the tone for this week will be set out in Trump’s meeting with Kim.”
The Federal Reserve will hold a two-day meeting on interest rates Tuesday and Wednesday. Investors expect the U.S. central bank to raise interest rates to 2% from their current level of 1.75%, but most attention will be on how many rate hikes Fed officials are considering doing later this year.
Investors showed little concern over the swipes that Trump took at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the weekend and Monday. Trump roiled a weekend meeting of the Group of 7 major industrial economies by agreeing to a group statement and then rapidly withdrawing from it while complaining about Trudeau’s criticism of his tariff threats.
After leaving Canada, Trump called Trudeau “dishonest” and “weak” on Twitter. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she found Trump’s tweet disavowing the G-7 statement “a little depressing.”
Italy’s markets jumped after the economy minister said the country’s new populist government isn’t considering leaving the eurozone or adding to the high public debt load. The statement was the strongest yet on the topic from an official in the new government. Markets fell sharply last month on worries that the new administration might consider pulling Italy out of the euro or weakening the country’s role in the currency.
European markets closed broadly higher. Italy’s main stock index jumped 3.4%. Germany’s DAX rose 0.6%, and France’s CAC-40 index rose 0.4%.
In individual company news, utility company PG&E dropped 4% to $39.81 after California authorities said a dozen wildfires that burned thousands of homes in California’s wine country and killed at least 15 people last October were caused by PG&E’s equipment, raising liability implications for the company.
Boston Scientific jumped 7.2% to $34.31 after the Wall Street Journal reported that Stryker offered to purchase the medical device company. Stryker shares fell 5.2% to $169.62.
Envision Healthcare rose 2.3% to $44.65 after the physician services and outpatient surgery center company accepted an offer from private equity company KKR worth almost $10 billion.
Fitbit soared 14.6% to $7.28 after the maker of wearable fitness devices launched a product for children and Citron Research issued a bullish report about the company.
In energy, benchmark U.S. crude rose 36 cents to $66.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was unchanged at $76.46 a barrel in London.
In the metals markets, gold rose 80 cents to $1,298.90 an ounce. Silver rose 21 cents to $16.95 an ounce. Copper fell 4 cents to $3.26 a pound.
2:25 p.m.: This article was updated with closing prices, context and analyst comment.
1:20 p.m.: This article was updated with the close of markets.
This article was originally published at 7 a.m.