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US indexes inch higher as energy stocks claw from the hole

By on June 23, 2017

Trader Gordon Charlop works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. ((Richard Drew, File/AP)

By Stan Choe

NEW YORK — U.S. stock indexes inched higher Friday as energy companies clawed back some of their sharp losses from earlier in the week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index flipped between modest gains and losses and is on track to end the week roughly where it started.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 added nearly 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,438, as of 10:35 a.m. Eastern time.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 7 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 21,403, and the Nasdaq composite rose 10, or 0.2 percent, to 6,246. The Russell 2000 of small-company stocks rose 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,410.

More stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

HIGHER ENERGY: Energy stocks in the S&P 500 added 0.7 percent for the biggest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index. They followed oil prices higher, helping to trim their loss for the week to 3 percent.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 15 cents to $42.89 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 27 cents to $45.49.

Energy stocks had plunged earlier in the week as oil dropped to its lowest level since August. Expectations are hardening that the world has way more crude oil available than users need.

STRESS FREE: Financial stocks held steady after all 34 of the largest U.S. banks passed the Federal Reserve’s stress test. The test, meant to help restore confidence in the financial system following the 2008 financial crisis, checks whether banks are strong enough to withstand a deep recession.

Financial stocks in the S&P 500 were flat.

TAKING A BATH: Bed Bath & Beyond had the sharpest loss in the S&P 500 after it reported weaker earnings for the latest quarter than analysts expected. The retailer’s revenue also fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts. Shares fell $4.04, or 12 percent, to $27.71

YIELDS: The 10-year Treasury yield held steady at 2.15 percent. The two-year yield slipped to 1.33 percent from 1.34 percent late Thursday, and the 30-year yield ticked up to 2.73 percent from 2.72 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 111.27 Japanese yen from 111.34 yen late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1202 from $1.1147, and the British pound rose to $1.2730 from $1.2672.

MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.4 percent, Germany’s DAX lost 0.7 percent and the FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent.

A monthly survey revealed that a measure of economic strength in the 19-country Eurozone slipped to a five-month low in June, which was below market expectations. However, the IHS Markit composite purchasing managers’ index indicated that job creation and business confidence were still robust.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.1 percent, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was close to flat.

COMMODITIES: Gold rose $7.40 to $1,256.80 per ounce. Silver added 16 cents, or 1 percent, to $16.67, and copper rose 3 cents to $2.63 per pound. Natural gas gained 4 cents to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil was close to flat at $1.38 per gallon and wholesale gasoline was virtually unchanged at $1.43 per gallon.

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