US stocks close higher as choppy trading persists, oil slips – Daily News

on Mar24
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Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Thursday and oil prices slipped as a streak of uneven trading continues on world markets. The S&P 500 rose 1.4%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1%, and the Nasdaq rose 1.9%. Technology companies had some of the strongest gains. Major U.S. indexes are mixed for the week so far after alternating between gains and losses over the past several days. Crude oil prices fell as world leaders gather in Europe to discuss more ways to further isolate and punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Treasury yields rose.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Stocks turned broadly higher on Wall Street Thursday, regaining some of the ground they lost a day earlier, though the major indexes remained mixed for the week after several days of seesaw trading.

The S&P 500 index was up 0.9% as of 2:56 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 235 points, or 0.7%, to 34,594, and the Nasdaq composite rose 1.3%.

Technology stocks accounted for a big share of the gains in the benchmark S&P 500, along with communication companies. Many Big Tech companies have outsized values that tend to sway the broader market in either direction. Chipmaker Nvidia rose 9% and Facebook parent, Meta, rose 2.2%.

Health care stocks also had some of the strongest gains. Insurers UnitedHealth Group rose 2% and Anthem gained 2.5%.

Major U.S. indexes are mixed for the week so far after alternating between gains and losses over the past few days.

“There’s a little bit of tug-of-war right now … and investors are just looking for direction,” said Darrell Cronk, chief investment officer for wealth & investment management at Wells Fargo.

Markets in Europe closed mostly lower. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.1% and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.4%. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1%. Indexes in Asia also mostly fell.

Crude oil prices slipped after jumping a day earlier. U.S. benchmark crude oil fell 2.3% to settle at $112.34 per barrel. A barrel of Brent crude, the international standard, fell 2.1% to settle at $119.03. Overall, global oil prices are up more than 50% in 2022 on persistently rising inflation and concerns about crimped supplies because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Investors around the world were watching to see the outcome of the meetings of NATO and a European leaders summit Thursday. G-7 nations are restricting the Russian Central Bank’s use of gold in transactions and the U.S. announced new sanctions against Russian individuals and entities.

Dozens of nations, including the U.S. and much of Europe, say they’re united in seeking to “radically” reduce imports of Russian oil and gas.

Sanctions have so far gutted the Ruble’s value and prompted Russia’s stock exchange to close nearly a month ago. The exchange reopened Thursday under heavy restrictions to prevent the kind of massive selloff that occurred in anticipation of crushing financial and economic sanctions from Western nations.

Wall Street is monitoring the latest developments on the conflict as it tries to determine how much it could worsen inflation and potentially crimp global economic growth. Businesses and consumers have been facing increasing costs for materials and goods which has prompted central banks to raise interest rates in order to temper the impact from inflation.

Bond yields have been rising overall as the market prepares for higher interest rates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.34% from 2.31% late Wednesday.

“Markets are clearly signaling a deceleration in GDP growth and earnings growth,” Cronk said.

Investors received an encouraging update on the labor market’s continued recovery. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week fell to its lowest level in 52 years. The upbeat report adds to data earlier this month that showed employers added a robust 678,000 jobs in February, the largest monthly total since July.

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