The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell from a record, while small-cap shares sank and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. rallied in its debut. Commodities declined to a five-year low and the dollar advanced.
The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent at 4 p.m. in New York. Alibaba surged 38 percent on its first day of trading. The Russell 2000 sank 1.3 percent. The Bloomberg Commodity Index retreated 0.8 percent as oil slid. Gold fell to an eight-month low, while silver hit the cheapest in four years. The U.S. Dollar Index rose for a 10th straight week, the longest since at least March 1967, as the yen slid to a six-year low.
Alibaba opened at $92.70 after selling shares at $68 in an initial public offering that raised $21.8 billion, the biggest U.S. IPO ever. Today marked a quarterly event known as quadruple witching, when futures and options contracts on indexes and stocks expire. Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond resigned after the anti-independence “No” camp garnered 55 percent of the votes.
“The market is telling us that it’s beginning to prepare for an eventual cessation of quantitative easing and a rate hike,” Kevin Caron, who helps oversee $170 billion at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in Florham Park, New Jersey, said in a phone interview. “That’s caused global asset flows to seek the dollar, boosting all dollar-denominated assets, and that’s what we’ve seen in stocks.”
The S&P 500 climbed for a third day yesterday to close at a record, boosted by optimism that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low even as the world’s largest economy shows signs of improving. The equities benchmark is heading for a 1.4 percent advance this week, the sixth in seven.
Data today showed an index of leading indicators climbed 0.2 percent in August after jumping 0.9 percent in July. Economists forecast a gain of 0.4 percent.
Alibaba and shareholders including Yahoo! Inc. sold 320.1 million shares in the Hangzhou, China-based company for $68 each, after offering them at a range of between $66 and $68, according to a statement.
Phone and utility shares rose at least 0.8 percent to pace gains among seven of the 10 main groups in the S&P 500. Technology shares fell 0.42 percent. Yahoo retreated 2.7 percent.
Among other stocks moving, Oracle Corp. fell 4.2 percent after naming two co-chief executive officers as Larry Ellison stepped down. Dresser-Rand Group Inc. rallied 9.4 percent after people familiar with the matter said Siemens AG is preparing to offer more than $6.5 billion for it. Concur Technologies Inc. jumped 18 percent as SAP SE agreed to buy the company for $7.4 billion to boost its cloud-computing business.
The operator of the S&P 500 will also rebalance the index in a quarterly move to adjust member weightings. About $25 billion of shares will be traded as investors buy and sell stocks to mimic the changes, according to a Sept. 7 estimate by Howard Silverblatt, an index analyst at the New York-based S&P Dow Jones Indices.
U.K. shares rose after the Scotland vote that put the future of the 307-year-old union on a knife edge and risked years of political and financial turmoil.
The FTSE 100 advanced 0.3 percent to its highest close since Sept. 4, when it reached a 14-year high during the day. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc advanced 2.5 percent for the biggest gain in the index. The Stoxx 600 rose for a third day and climbed 1.3 percent this week.
“Now that the Scotland independence vote is out of the way, risk aversion in asset markets has subsided,” said Soeren Moerch, head of fixed-income trading at Danske Bank A/S. “People re-focus on fundamentals. The U.K. story is now back on growth and its first rate increase.”
Spain’s government bonds advanced for a fifth day after the Scottish referendum results eased concern that the Iberian nation’s Catalonia region will break away. Spanish 10-year yields fell eight basis points to 2.20 percent. The rate on 10- year Italian debt dropped seven basis points to 2.37 percent.
The dollar added 0.3 percent to 108.97 yen after touching 109.46, the highest since August 2008. It rose for a sixth week, the longest advance this year. The greenback increased 0.7 percent to $1.2837 per euro, 1 percent stronger this week. The yen rose 0.4 percent to 139.84 per euro.
The U.S. Dollar Index, which Intercontinental Exchange Inc. uses to track the greenback against the currencies of six U.S. trading partners, increased 0.5 percent. It gained 0.6 percent on the week after the Fed signaled an end to unprecedented monetary stimulus.
Treasury 10-year yields fell four basis points to 2.58 percent. They earlier touched 2.65 percent, the highest since July 7.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index declined to the lowest since July 2009. Wheat fell 2.9 percent and West Texas Intermediate oil dropped 0.7 percent to end at $92.41 a barrel as the dollar rose. Gold futures for December delivery dropped 0.8 percent to settle at $1,216.60 an ounce. Silver tumbled under $18 an ounce to the cheapest in four years. The metal sank 3.6 percent for the biggest drop this year.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slipped 0.2 percent, capping weekly drop. Currencies weakened as the U.S. moves closer to raising interest rates, damping demand for riskier assets. A gauge of 20 developing-nation currencies slid 0.5 percent this week, a fifth consecutive decline, to the lowest level since 2009.
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