S&P, Nasdaq lifted by energy, discretionary stocks | Reuters
By Yashaswini Swamynathan Gains in energy and consumer discretionary stocks propped up the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq on Wednesday, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped due to losses in healthcare stocks. Oil prices rose more than 1.5 percent after data showed a smaller-than-expected build in U.S.
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Gains in energy and consumer discretionary stocks propped up the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq on Wednesday, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped due to losses in healthcare stocks. Oil prices rose more than 1.5 percent after data showed a smaller-than-expected build in U.S. crude stockpiles. The data lifted the S&P 500 energy index by 1 percent, led by Exxon. The consumer discretionary index was up 0.5 percent, helped by Amazon.com and Target. With an August target date set for a highly anticipated tax reform bill and the quarter nearing an end, analysts expect the market to trade in a tight range. "We're going to be fairly range-bound as we get to the earnings season or until there is some significant development on tax reforms," said Michael Scanlon, portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.
At 10:49 a.m. ET (1449 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 36.01 points, or 0.17 percent, at 20,665.49, the S&P 500 was up 2.81 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,361.38 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 17.40 points, or 0.3 percent, at 5,892.54.The reaction of U.S. markets to Britain formally initiating a process to separate from the European Union was muted.
Among stocks, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, jumped 23 percent to $110.37 after its cystic fibrosis treatment succeeded in a late-stage trial.UnitedHealth was off 1 percent and weighed the most on the Dow. Luxury furniture retailer RH was up 11.3 percent at $42.41 following a quarterly profit that beat analysts' expectations.
Chipmaker Exar Corp was up 22 percent at $12.95 following a deal to be bought by Maxlinear for about $700 million.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,744 to 1,067. On the Nasdaq, 1,553 issues rose and 1,066 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 10 52-week highs and one low, while the Nasdaq recorded 58 highs and 19 lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.