Yen snaps three-day climb while S&P 500 trades little changed

U.S. Earnings

The S&P 500 rose to a five-year high in regular trading yesterday after U.S. lawmakers voted to temporarily suspend the federal debt limit. The benchmark gauge of American stocks has climbed 4.8 percent this year. Some 75 percent of the 134 S&P 500 companies that released results beat profit projections, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Applications for unemployment insurance payments decreased by 5,000 to 330,000 in the week ended Jan. 19, the fewest since the same week in 2008, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. Economists forecast 355,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Three shares advanced for every two that fell in the Stoxx 600. EasyJet Plc climbed 5.5 percent as Europe’s second-largest discount carrier said fiscal first-quarter sales gained 9.2 percent. Opap SA tumbled 11 percent in Athens trading as the European Union’s highest court said Greece’s gambling monopoly is unlawful. Logitech International SA, the world’s biggest maker of computer mice, fell 10 percent in Zurich after posting a third-quarter loss of $195 million.

The cost of insuring against default on bank debt climbed for a third day, with the Markit iTraxx Financial index of credit-default swaps on 25 lenders and insurers rising two basis points to 140 basis points, a three-week high.

Metals Drop

Silver fell 2 percent, the first drop in nine days, and nickel slipped 1 percent. New York crude climbed 0.9 percent to $96.04 a barrel. China is the biggest buyer of industrial metals and energy.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.4 percent as technology stocks declined. South Korea’s Kospi index slid 0.8 percent after economic growth data missed estimates and North Korea threatened a nuclear test. Taiwan’s Taiex lost 0.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.8 percent and Russia’s Micex slid 0.4 percent.

The rupee was little changed at 53.6850 per dollar after falling to as low as 53.8913. India increased the limit on foreign investment in local-currency bonds by $10 billion to $75 billion, the central bank said.

Bloomberg News

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