Echoing the record high set by the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei index surged 2.13 percent on Wednesday, setting a new 4.5-year high for itself. The yen wobbled slightly lower to trade at 93.2345 to the dollar, but forex seemed to take a backstage to the hype surrounding Japan’s changing monetary policies. The Hang Seng climbed 0.96 percent, while the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.82 percent.
The markets in Europe also managed to avoid a post-record hangover. As New York headed toward its opening bell, Germany’s DAX was up 1.00 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.31 percent, and the STOXX 50 index was up 0.43 percent.
U.S. futures at 8:35 a.m.: DJIA: +0.40%, S&P 500: +0.47%, NASDAQ: +0.22%.
1) It’s the biggest headline on the page but there’s not much more to say about it. The sequester happened, and everybody is a little embarrassed about it. Now that the ticking clock has expired, market participants seem to feel that a distraction has been removed from their periphery, and investors will focus on navigating the new economic environment while policymakers slug it out in Washington.
As far as updates are concerned, Bloomberg reports that the latest push toward some sort of post-hoc alternative is an initiative by President Barack Obama, who once again appears to be leading the charge on bipartisan engagement. Obama is reportedly calling rank-and-file members of congress — about a half-dozen Republicans recently — in order to seek their support.
“What I see from the president is probably the most encouraging engagement on a big issue that I’ve seen since the early years of his presidency,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) after a 10-minute phone call with Obama. “He wants to do the big deal.”