Monday, April 15, 2024

Stocks open higher on Wall Street, led by gains in tech

by Associated Press

Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as investors get back to buying a day after the S&P 500 ended a six-day winning streak. The benchmark index was up 0.4% in the early going, led by gains in technology and communications stocks. A government report early Wednesday showing that inflation came in weaker than expected last month helped send Treasury yields lower and stock futures higher before the opening bell. Investors were also keeping a close eye on company earnings reports. Twitter rose sharply and Under Armour also posted a big gain after both companies reported results that beat estimates.

London and Frankfurt opened higher, while Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong also advanced.

On Tuesday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended down 0.1% as investors watched Washington, where President Joe Biden’s Democrats planned to move ahead without Republican help on a stimulus plan.

“In all likelihood, after a few firm sessions, equities just ran out of short-term momentum,” said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda in a report. He said buying sentiment “hasn’t gone, it’s just taken a little rest,” reflected by the renewed rise in U.S. futures during Asia’s morning.

Investor optimism has been helped by the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the Federal Reserve’s promise to support the struggling U.S. economy.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.3% to 6,554.35. The Dax in Frankfurt slipped 0.3% to 13,973.31, while the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.1% to 5,699.78.

On Wall Street, the future for the S&P 500 index rose 0.3% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.2% higher.

On Tuesday, the Dow lost less than 0.1% while Nasdaq rose 0.1% to a record. All three benchmarks hit record highs on Monday.

Companies that deal with consumer services and products were the biggest drag on the broader market, outweighing gains in communications, industrial and health care stocks.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4% to 3,655.09 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.2% to 29,562.30. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.9% to 30,038.72.

The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.5% to 3,100.58 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was 0.5% higher at 6,856.90.

India’s Sensex lost 0.6% to 51,055.24. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets were mixed.

U.S. stocks have risen on optimism the worst economic impact of the pandemic might be past.

In Washington, Democrats have rallied around Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan for the struggling economy. It includes one-time payments to Americans plus a likely increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 13 cents to $58.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 39 cents on Tuesday to $58.36. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 5 cents to $61.04 per barrel in London. It added 53 cents the previous session to $61.09 a barrel.

The dollar declined to 104.46 yen from Tuesday’s 104.55 yen. The euro advanced to $1.2139 from $1.2120.

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