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It’s almost like the market is wearing blinders.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained about 0.2% in early trade and the Kospi tacked on almost 0.4% Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index was fairly unchanged.
Talk about an interesting reaction.
It was the moment investors had been waiting all week for: former FBI Director James Comey gave public testimony to the Senate on President Donald Trump and possible connections with Russia. Wall Street was riveted.
But Comey’s damning retelling of events did not push markets in any major direction. Stocks did manage, however, to close out the session with small gains.
The S&P 500 was up 0.03%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.04%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.39%. The Nasdaq finished at a new record high of 6,321.76.
In comments to the Senate, Comey said, “I take the president at his word I was fired because of the Russia investigation.” When asked, Comey said he had “no doubt” that Russian government officials had attempted to interfere in the 2016 election. He also called Trump a liar and said the version of events the White House had pushed in the wake of his surprise firing were an effort to defame him.
Comey went back to Washington.
“The administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI, by saying the organization was poorly led,” Comey said, referring to the White House’s story that the FBI had been unhappy with his role as director. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”
However, Comey refrained from calling President Donald Trump’s request to drop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn an attempt to obstruct justice — he said it was not “for me to say” what Trump’s intent was, though he did find the request “very disturbing.”
Trump’s outside counsel on Thursday responded to Comey’s testimony by criticizing his leak of internal memos. Marc Kasowitz said in a statement that Comey had “admitted” to sharing his memo with a friend who then leaked to the press. Kasowitz also said that Trump did not pressure Comey.
The market also withstood another shock on Thursday.
The first exit polls from Thursday’s U.K. general election suggest the ruling Conservative Party may not have won enough seats to earn a majority in the country’s 650 seat parliament.
Polls show Prime Minister Theresa May’s party will likely win 314 seats, 12 seats shy of an outright majority. Her main rival, the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn, will likely win 266 seats and the Scottish National Party will likely win 34 seats.
The pound fell sharply immediately following the poll’s publication, plunging around 1.7% against the U.S. dollar to 1.2731, the lowest level since May called the snap poll on April 18, before paring the losses to 1.2770.
FANG stocks — an acronym for Facebook (FB) , Amazon (AMZN) , Netflix (NFLX) and Google (Alphabet) (GOOGL) also continue to be red-hot. But chip-maker AMD (AMD) also continues to notch big gains amid the rush to bitcoin. Meanwhile, rival NVIDIA (NVDA) caught a massive upgrade by Citigroup.
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