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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks up slightly, U.S. dollar flat before Trump speech
February 27, 2017 / 8:12 PM / in 10 months

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks up slightly, U.S. dollar flat before Trump speech

(Updates to late afternoon, adds commentary)

* Wall Street indexes little changed

* Dollar little changed, Treasury yields higher

* Trump addresses joint session of Congress on Tuesday

By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose slightly on Monday and U.S. Treasury yields were higher as investors held their breath a day ahead of a key speech by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Oil futures’ gains were capped by rising U.S. production even as a global supply glut appeared to ease, while the S&P 500’s energy sector saw the biggest percentage increase among benchmark index sectors.

While many investors were hoping Trump would unveil details on pro-business policies including tax reform, cash repatriation or infrastructure spending during his address to Congress Tuesday night, others were not ready to make new bets as they worried that the speech would disappoint.

“The markets are just going to do nothing until they get into the address tomorrow night,” said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“Investors want something concrete on corporate taxes or repatriation. They’re more focused on that than the affordable care act, but the first focus of the administration is ACA.”

The dollar was up 0.06 percent against a basket of major currencies after Trump said Monday that tax reform details would not be revealed until after the administration’s proposal on healthcare.

Investors had hoped for “more clarity around tax reform sooner rather than later” said Bipan Rai, senior macroeconomic strategist at CIBC Capital Markets in Toronto.

At 2:50 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 26.14 points, or 0.13 percent, to 20,847.9, the S&P 500 had gained 3.04 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,370.38 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 10.37 points, or 0.18 percent, to 5,855.67.

U.S. 10-year Treasury notes were last down 14/32 in price to yield 2.367 percent, from a yield of 2.317 percent late Friday. Two-year notes were last down 3/32 in price to yield 1.204 percent, from a yield of 1.145 percent late Friday.

MSCI’s benchmark world stock index was up 0.1 percent after it hit a record high Thursday. Europe’s benchmark index of leading 300 shares fell 0.2 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.9 percent for its lowest close since Feb. 9 on concerns that a stronger yen would crimp corporate earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average scaled its 11th consecutive record high on Friday, the longest such run since 1987, leading some to suggest it could be prone for a correction.

In commodities, Brent crude was down 0.04 percent at $55.97 per barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate settled up 0.1 percent at $54.05 per barrel as a global supply glut appeared to ease. (Additional Reporting by Sam Forgione and Karen Brettell in New York, and Jamie McGeever in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

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