December 11, 2017
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wall Street edges higher as energy and bank shares gain

US stocks were slightly higher on Wall Street on Wednesday as gains in energy and banks buoyed the S&P 500.

The choppy trading near the unchanged level for the day left indexes holding on to major gains posted on Tuesday.

Concern lingered that the US economy was on a weaker footing than thought, but recent data including a better-than-expected reading on private sector job creation last month has helped dispel those concerns.

The improvement in US economic data, including manufacturing, construction spending and auto sales earlier this week, rekindled expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise rates at least once later this year, giving support to bank shares.

"I’ve been encouraged by the economic numbers," said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager of Hodges Capital Management in Dallas, citing jobs and manufacturing data.

Crude prices hovered in and out of negative territory with U.S. crude CLc1 reaching $35.17 at one point, its highest since January 6.

"There's been so much pessimism around energy," said Bradshaw, "and in spite of that oil is near $35. When crude moves up it is telling the world, and particularly the US, is not going through a recession."

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 8.04 points, or 0.05 percent, to 16,873.12, the S&P 500 gained 4.05 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,982.4 and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.12 points, or 0.05 percent, to 4,691.71.

European shares rose with banks making their fifth straight day of gains after previously suffering heavy losses, while eyewear maker Luxottica led the losers after it trimmed its profit guidance.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended up 0.7 percent at 1,341.88 points after a volatile day, helped late in the session by oil prices reversing initial losses which were triggered by a huge build in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Earlier, Japan's Nikkei surged to a more than three-week high on as the dollar rose against the yen after strong US factory and construction data, giving exporters a boost and lifting the overall market.

The Nikkei share average climbed 4.1 percent to 16,746.55, the highest closing level since Feb. 8.

The broader Topix rose 3.8 percent to 1,349.61 with all of its 33 subindexes gaining. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 4.0 percent to 12,251.01.

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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia