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December 15, 2017
Friday, April 8, 2016

Wall Street ends with slight gain; indexes post weekly losses

A sharp rally in crude oil and energy shares lifted US stocks today, but indexes registered losses for the week and investors were cautious ahead of earnings season.

US crude oil settled more than 6 percent higher after data showed lower US stockpiles, driving gains of 2 percent in the S&P energy index.

Earnings begin in earnest next week with reports from Alcoa and four of the big banks. Analysts are projecting a third straight quarterly decline in earnings at S&P 500 companies.

Profits for S&P 500 companies are expected to have declined 7.6 percent in the first quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said late on Thursday that the US economy was on "a solid course," while New York Fed President William Dudley said on Friday a cautious and gradual approach to raising rates was appropriate.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 35 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,576.96, the S&P 500 gained 5.69 points, or 0.28 percent, to 2,047.6 and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.32 points, or 0.05 percent, to 4,850.69.

For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 lose 1.2 percent, while the Nasdaq fell 1.3 percent.

S&P 500's weekly loss was its biggest since early February. The index has mostly rallied since mid-February as oil prices rebounded and worries over China eased.

A drop in shares of biotechs and other healthcare companies kept a lid on gains in the Nasdaq and the broader market, with the Nasdaq Biotech index down 1.1 percent on the day.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,300 to 730, for a 3.15-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,602 issues rose and 1,205 fell for a 1.33-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq recorded 30 new highs and 23 new lows.

In Europe, equities rebounded as Italian banks rallied and energy stocks advanced, although a pan-European index was headed for its fourth straight week of losses.

The STOXX Oil and Gas sub-index rose 3.5 percent to lead gains among sectors, as encouraging economic data from the United States and Germany helped oil prices to rally. Hopes that global oversupply could be ending helped as well.

Italian shares outperformed the broader market, with the benchmark FTSE MIB index rising 4.1 percent. Shares in the banks BMPS, Banco Popolare and UBI Banca jumped 7.9 to 10.9 percent.

The Italian government is keen to end concern about the health of the banking system, which is burdened by 360 billion euros of bad loans.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 1.2 percent higher after falling 0.8 percent lower on Thursday, when the index slipped to a one-month low. It is still down nearly 10 percent this year and set for another weekly loss.

German shares, up 1 percent, were underpinned by a survey showing the country's exports rose more than expected in February, a sign that foreign demand was picking up again.

Meanwhile, the Nikkei rose in volatile trade, reversing earlier weakness as the dollar firmed against the yen, lifting risk appetite, but a sharp drop in Fast Retailing shares limited gains on the benchmark.

The Nikkei share average gained 0.5 percent to 15,821.52, crawling back from its intraday low of 15,471.80. For the week, it dropped 2.1 percent.

The broader Topix gained 1.2 percent to 1,287.69 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 1.2 percent to 11,622.30.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  





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