Dow Climbs Back Above 22000 as Fears Ease

By Marina Force and Corrie Driebusch Features Dow Jones Newswires

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed back above 22000 for the first time in nearly a month as investor fears eased about a standoff with North Korea and the severity of the impact of Hurricane Irma on the U.S. economy.

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Stocks rose and haven assets retreated, marking a reversal from the past week when all three major stock indexes posted declines, the dollar weakened and government bond yields fell. Investors worried at the time about worst-case scenarios from summer storms and the continuing U.S. tension with North Korea over missile testing.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 232 points, or 1.1%, to 22030 in recent trading. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1%.

The last time the blue-chip index closed above 22000 was Aug. 16.

Some analysts had expected North Korea to conduct a weapons test on Saturday, coinciding with the country's founding day, as it did last year to mark the celebration. The absence of news from Pyongyang, however, supported stocks and the dollar, while weighing on haven assets, analysts say.

Government bond prices declined, pushing up yields. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.115% in recent trading, compared with Friday's close of 2.058%, according to Tradeweb.

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Many analysts don't expect this relative calm to last, however, and bond yields could decrease if tensions once again rise in North Korea.

Meanwhile, concerns about the impact of Hurricane Irma on the U.S. economy also decreased, after it hit Florida on Sunday with the strength of a Category 4 storm, instead of a Category 5 hurricane, as many analysts feared. It also took a westerly course, meaning there was no direct hit on Miami. The combination of reductions in the storm's strength and a shifted course meant insured damage estimates are likely to be less than originally anticipated by some analysts.

Irma weakened further Monday, although the National Weather Service said the extreme storm conditions would continue for much of central and western Florida.

Reinsurance companies, which tumbled last week as they are expected to bear the financial brunt of Hurricane Irma's damage, jumped on Monday. Everest Re Group, which dropped more than 10% last week, rose 4% in recent trading. Chubb rose 3.1% and XL Group climbed 3.6%.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. dollar against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.3%, after sinking to its lowest level in more than two years on Friday. The euro fell 0.6% against the greenback, paring some of last week's gains, to trade at $1.1964.

The Stoxx Europe 600 moved 0.9% higher, led by gains in bank, insurance and technology shares -- sectors that post hefty gains whenever investors feel confident enough to take on more risk.

Gold, another traditional haven for money managers, fell 0.9%. The Japanese yen and the Swiss franc, which traditionally rise when markets fall, both lost 0.7% against the U.S. dollar.

The weaker yen boosted Japanese blue-chip stocks, because investors measure the performance of these multinationals against revenue earned in foreign currencies abroad. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.4%, after setting fresh four-month lows on Friday and logging its worst week in seven months.

Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi added 0.7%, and Australia's S&P/200 rose 0.7%.

Write to Corrie Driebusch at corrie.driebusch@wsj.com

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed back above 22000 for the first time in nearly a month, as investors' fears eased about North Korea and Hurricane Irma.

Stocks rose broadly and haven assets retreated, a reversal from last week when major U.S. stock indexes, the dollar and Treasury yields fell as investors worried about worst-case scenarios from summer storms and threats from North Korea.

The Dow industrials rose 266 points, or 1.2%, to 22063 in recent trading. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.1%.

The last time the blue-chip index closed above 22000 was Aug. 16 and it hasn't posted a 1% gain since April.

Some analysts had expected North Korea to conduct a weapons test on Saturday, coinciding with the country's founding day, as it did last year to mark the celebration. The absence of news from Pyongyang supported stocks and the dollar, while weighing on haven assets, analysts say.

Government bond prices declined, pushing up yields. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.129% in recent trading, according to Tradeweb, compared with Friday's close of 2.058%.

Many analysts don't expect this relative calm to last, however, and bond yields could decrease if North Korea tensions rise once again.

Meanwhile, concerns about Hurricane Irma's impact on the U.S. economy also decreased. A reduction in the storm's strength and a shift in its forecast course -- there was no direct hit on Miami -- meant insured damage estimates were likely to be less than originally anticipated by some analysts.

Reinsurance companies, which tumbled last week as they were expected to bear the financial brunt of Hurricane Irma's damage, jumped on Monday. Shares of Everest Re Group, which dropped more than 10% last week, rose 4.7% in recent trading. Chubb rose 3.8% and XL Group climbed 5.2%.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. dollar against a basket of other currencies, rose 0.6%, after sinking to its lowest level in more than two years on Friday. The euro fell 0.6% against the greenback, paring some of last week's gains, to trade at $1.1961.

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1%, boosted by gains in bank, insurance and technology shares -- sectors that tend to gain when investors feel confident enough to take on more risk.

Gold, another traditional haven for money managers, fell 1%. The yen and the Swiss franc, which traditionally rise when markets are volatile, both fell against the U.S. dollar.

A weaker yen boosted Japanese blue-chip stocks. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.4%, after setting fresh four-month lows on Friday and logging its worst week in seven months.

South Korea's Kospi added 0.7%, and Australia's S&P/200 rose 0.7%.

Write to Corrie Driebusch at corrie.driebusch@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 11, 2017 14:09 ET (18:09 GMT)