December 12, 2017
Friday, February 13, 2015

Wall St rise helped by oil; S&P touches record

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 46.97 points, or 0.26 percent, at 18,019.35.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 46.97 points, or 0.26 percent, at 18,019.35.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 46.97 points, or 0.26 percent, at 18,019.35.

US stocks advanced today, with the S&P 500 scaling a new intraday record as rising oil prices boosted energy stocks, but a decline in utilities limited gains.

Traders held off on making big bets on the last day before a long weekend to avoid extended exposure in case of any negative news, particularly from Europe, where Greece is involved in debt negotiations. US markets are closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

Equities rallied this week after a ceasefire agreement between Ukraine and Russia and apparent progress toward a deal on Greek debt. For the week, the Dow is up 1.1 percent, the S&P 500 is up 1.9 percent and the Nasdaq is up 2.96 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 46.97 points, or 0.26 percent, at 18,019.35. The S&P 500 closed up 8.51 points, or 0.41 percent, at 2,096.99. The Nasdaq Composite closed up 36.22 points, or 0.75 percent, at 4,893.84.

The S&P utilities sector was down 2 percent and was the worst performer, on track for a third straight day of declines. The energy sector was the best performer with a 1.7 percent rise as oil prices rose.

In Europe, shares rised in early trading with robust growth figures from Germany sending the country's blue-chip DAX index to a record high.

Greek equities rallied nearly 6 percent as shares of Greek banks surged on signs the country could reach a deal with creditors.

A Greek government spokesman said the country will make every effort to reach a deal at Monday's meeting of euro zone finance ministers on how to transition to a new support program. Optimism regarding Ukraine also supported stocks in the wake of a ceasefire agreement between Ukraine and Russia.

The FTSEuroFirst index of 300 leading shares closed up 0.64 percent, at 1,502.82. MSCI's all-country world equity index was last up 2.93 points, or 0.69 percent, to 427.62.

Data from Germany showed the economy grew by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, much stronger than expected, with domestic demand lifting Europe's largest economy out of its mid-year lull and boosting growth for the whole of last year to 1.6 percent.

Shares in ArcelorMittal, the world's largest producer of steel, was up 1.8 percent, reversing early losses. The group said on Friday its profit would fall in 2015, rather than improve as expected, although details about the group's debt reassured investors.

The FTSEurofirst 300 has gained 9.7 percent since the beginning of 2015 and the DAX is up 12 percent, both strongly outperforming a 1.4 percent rise on Wall Street's S&P 500 . This has prompted a number of investors to turn cautious on Europe in the short term after such a strong start of the year.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average fell today, retreating from a 7-1/2-year closing high the previous day as investors took profits from gainers such as Fanuc Corp, but buying in cyclical stocks exposed to consumer demand limited the losses.

A ceasefire agreement between Russia and Ukraine also eased tensions in the market.

The Nikkei shed 0.4 percent to 17,913.36, retreating from 17,979.72 marked on Thursday, the highest closing level since July 2007. For the week, the Nikkei gained 1.5 percent. The broader Topix outperformed, ending flat at 1,449.38 after trading in positive territory most of the day. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.1 percent to 13,147.96.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  

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