Energy Stocks Push Up Wall Street

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Wall Street

On Thursday, U.S. stocks rose with a general rally across the sectors as the hearsay regarding China halting U.S. bond purchases diminished and investors began to concentrate on quarterly earnings reports as well as the increased price of oil.

U.S. crude futures increased to $63.82 a barrel, the highest since December 2014, supported by an unexpected drop in U.S. production and lower crude inventories.  Positive brokerage recommendations on oil majors Exxon and Chevron elevated their shares, pushing the S&P energy index to rise 0.62 percent.

“It’s back to a generally positive mode,” said Scott Brown, chief economist.

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At 9:34 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 46.19 points, or 0.18 percent, at 25,415.32, the S&P 500 was up 5.29 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,753.52 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 12.79 points, or 0.18 percent, at 7,166.36.

On Wednesday, the S&P and the Nasdaq both broke their six-day rally following a report from Bloomberg that Chinese officials had suggesting halting its U.S. bond purchases, which China later dismissed.


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Investors are awaiting the start of fourth-quarter earnings season on Friday, which begins with U.S. lenders JPMorgan and Wells Fargo.  The earnings for S&P 500 companies are predicted on average to increase by 11.8 percent.

Technology and industrial stocks were among the largest gainers. Boeing increased 1.5 percent and Caterpillar rose 0.7 percent, improving the Dow. Apple’s 0.6 percent gain provided the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq.

Delta Air Lines gained 1.31 percent following the company’s profit surpassing fourth quarter estimates.

Xerox shares rose 5 percent following a report from the Wall Street Journal that the company was in discussion with Japanese Fujifilm Holdings, which may include a change in control of Xerox.

Data revealed that U.S. producer prices dropped in December for the first time in almost 1-1/2 years amid declining costs for services, which could alleviate the expectation that inflation will pick up pace this year.

Other data revealed that the number of Americans filing for unemployment has surpassed a three-month high, increasing for the fourth straight week

 

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