United States stock indexes hold steady as oil’s dismal week eases

United States stock indexes hold steady as oil’s dismal week eases

At 9:48 a.m. ET (1348 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 46.92 points, or 0.22 percent, at 21,350.37, the S&P 500 was down 2.2 points, or 0.09 percent, at 2,432.3. On Wednesday, the CAC-40 fell 0.4 percent, while the DAX and the FTSE-100 both slipped 0.3 percent.

“The story truly is energy right now”, said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

Oil prices climbed about 1 percent, edging up from 10-month lows, but remained on course for its biggest first-half decline since the late 1990s as production cuts have failed to reduce oversupply.

Even a report showing that the amount of supplies in US inventories shrank last week did little to alter the tide. Benchmark US crude rose 21 cents to settle at $42.74 per barrel, and Brent crude, the worldwide standard, added 40 cents to $45.22 per barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, jumped 82 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $45.64. The consulting company reported quarterly earnings that were in line with analysts’ expectations, but it trimmed the top end of its forecast for revenue growth this year. How much of an impact that will have on most 401 (k) accounts will depend on how much it undercuts energy companies’ profits, and whether the pain will spill into other areas of the market. “While the Nervous Nellies take solace as oil prices based overnight, don’t get too comfortable as the oil patch narrative will likely be the primary catalyst in the coming months”. “If we get below $40, I think you’ll get people adjusting their expectations”.

The large-cap S&P 500 Index ended the day at 2,435.61, down 0.1% from the previous close.

The S&P energy index .SPNY is the worst performing sector so far this year, having lost about 15 percent.

What kept broad indices afloat for the week were big gains for healthcare and technology stocks.

Meanwhile, technology companies are forecast to report strong growth in the upcoming earnings season, and Oracle Corp’s profit report on Wednesday sailed past analysts’ expectations. HCA Healthcare, which owns hospitals around the country, rose $2.09, or 2.5 percent, to $86.14, and biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences added $2.98, or 4.4 percent, to $70.48. It jumped $2.80, or 5.4 percent, to $54.83. Its customers have been shifting toward higher-priced and more profitable products, such as leather. The Nasdaq composite rose 45.92, or 0.7 percent, to 6,233.95. If those moves hold, it would mark a big shift in momentum from earlier in the week.

MSCI has been considering including A-shares in its index for years but had demurred until now due to a range of concerns. Asian financial markets were mostly higher after a plunge in oil prices dragged down energy stocks o. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.1 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5 per cent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.1 per cent.

The Nasdaq composite rose just 0.04 percent but notched a two-day winning streak on the back of health care’s performance.

YIELDS: The 10-year Treasury yield held steady at 2.15 percent.

The euro rose to 1.1199 dollars from 1.1147 dollars, and the British pound rose to 1.2722 from 1.2672 dollars. The yen rose less than 0.1 per cent to 111.30 per dollar. Silver added 19 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $16.70, and copper rose 3 cents to $2.63 per pound. Natural gas rose 1 cent to $2.92 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil was flat at $1.40 per gallon and wholesale gasoline was virtually unchanged at $1.43 per gallon.