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Wall Street edges higher as tech, financials gain

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: April 17th, 2017 | 0 Comments


U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday, rising for the first time in four days, helped by gains in technology and financial stocks.

However, the gains were kept largely in check by rising geopolitical tensions and weak U.S. retail sales data, which was released on Friday.

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said the United States, its allies and China were working on a range of responses to North Korea’s latest failed ballistic missile test.

The SP 500 technology sector’s .SPLRCT 0.44 percent gain provided the biggest boost to the broader index, followed by a 0.3 percent rise in financials .SPSY.

The two sectors had taken a beating last week as investors loaded up on safe-havens amid geopolitical worries.

Gold prices hit five month highs on Monday, while the dollar fell to a five-month low as the safe yen rose.

“The major threat hanging over the market now is the geopolitical situation. The fact that North Korea’s failed missile launch maybe a reason why we are seeing a little bit of a bounce back here,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

Trading volumes are likely to be light, with most European financial markets closed for the Easter holiday.

At 9:41 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 67 points, or 0.33 percent, at 20,520.25, the SP 500 .SPX was up 5.07 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,334.02 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 17.33 points, or 0.3 percent, at 5,822.48.

Investors are also keeping an eye on quarterly earnings to justify pricey valuations of stocks. The first quarter is expected to be strong, with earnings of SP 500 companies estimated to have risen 10.4 percent.

Companies set to report results on Monday include Netflix (NFLX.O) and United Continental (UAL.N), which became a subject of international outrage for dragging a passenger from its plane.

Nine of the 11 major SP 500 sectors were higher.

The healthcare index .SPXHC fell slightly, weighed down by a 10 percent fall in Incyte Corp (INCY.O) and a 4 percent drop in Eli Lilly (LLY.N). The U.S. FDA declined to approve a drug for rheumatoid arthritis made by the two companies.

Alere (ALR.N) jumped 16 percent to $49.15 after Abbott (ABT.N) agreed on Friday to buy the company in a deal valued at about $5.3 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,826 to 833. On the Nasdaq, 1,471 issues rose and 860 fell.

The SP 500 index showed four 52-week highs and no lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 13 highs and 11 lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/n68cDEnkXyc/us-usa-stocks-idUSKBN17J0V3

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