US Stocks Moving Higher in Afternoon Trade; Oil Surges

By The Associated Press

By ALEX VEIGA 

U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in afternoon trading Wednesday, on pace to notch solid gains after a flat finish a day earlier. Technology companies accounted for a big slice of the rally. Energy stocks led the gainers after the price of crude oil climbed back above $70 a barrel a day after the U.S. moved to withdraw from a nuclear accord with Iran. Gains in banks, industrial and health care stocks outweighed losses in utilities and phone companies.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 26 points, or 1 percent, to 2,698 as of 3 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 182 points, or 0.8 percent, to 24,542. The Nasdaq added 73 points, or 1 percent, to 7,340. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 11 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,597.

THE QUOTE: “The areas of strength that you’re seeing today are encouraging,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird. “Energy, financials, materials and industrials. Those are more cyclical areas of the market, and that speaks to economic strength and a risk appetite on the part of investors.”

ENERGY: Oil prices rebounded a day after the Trump administration moved to withdraw the U.S. from a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and reinstate sanctions on the country. Benchmark U.S. crude oil climbed $2.08, or 3 percent, to settle at $71.14 per barrel in New York. That’s the highest level in nearly three and a half years. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained $2.36, or 3.2 percent, to close at $77.21 per barrel in London.

The pickup in oil prices sent energy stocks higher. Occidental Petroleum rose 4.5 percent to $81.74.

GAME ON: Electronic Arts led a technology sector rally, climbing 6.3 percent to $131.71 after the video game maker’s latest quarterly results beat forecasts.

ON THE ROAD: TripAdvisor soared 20.5 percent to $46.73 after the online travel booking company reported earnings that were much higher than analysts expected. It also raised its annual forecast.

BIG GETS BIGGER: Walmart Stores slid 3 percent to $83.14 after the retailer agreed to buy a 77 percent stake in India’s Flipkart in a $16 billion deal. The move is Walmart’s biggest acquisition yet and reflects the retailer’s focus on growth opportunities as it tries to narrow the gap with Amazon.com.

FIZZLED: Monster Beverage slumped 7.5 percent to $49.10 after the energy drink maker reported disappointing sales in the first quarter and said its profit margins decreased.

MOUSE TRAPPED: Walt Disney fell 2.3 percent to $99.46 after the entertainment giant released quarterly results that, while better than analysts had expected, showed that its ESPN network continued to struggle.

WEAK SAUCE: Papa John’s International dropped 4.2 percent to $56.27 after the pizza chain’s first-quarter results fell short of analyst estimates.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 3 percent from 2.98 percent late Tuesday. The rise in yields pushed up interest rates, which allows banks to make more money from loans. Financial sector stocks rose. Bank of America gained 2.8 percent to $30.76.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.69 yen from 109.02 on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1861 from $1.1858.

METALS: Gold dipped 70 cents to $1,313 an ounce. Silver added 7 cents to $16.54 an ounce. Copper was little changed at $3.06 a pound.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 1.3 percent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 0.4 percent and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent. Stocks rose in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia, but fell in Thailand and the Philippines.

 

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