Markets Right Now: US stocks edge higher in early trade

Lloyd Doyle
May 17, 2018

Wall Street edged higher on Wednesday as Macy's strong results helped drive gains in retails stocks and more than offset losses in energy shares. Macy's led a rally among retailers after reporting surprisingly strong results. Small-company stocks fared better than the rest of the market. Safe-play stocks like utilities and real estate companies lagged. The S&P 500 gained 11.01 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,722.46.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq recorded their biggest one-day percentage drop in three weeks on Tuesday after strong retail sales data stoked inflation worries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 62.52 points, or 0.25 percent, to 24,768.93. The Philadelphia SE semiconductor index .SOX was up 1.4 percent. Investors shrugged off data showing Japan's machinery orders fell almost 4 percent in March from the month before, as analysts said demand for equipment remains strong due to worsening shortages in factory capacity.

"Small caps present a cleaner play than large caps on two fundamental market drivers: lower corporate taxes and a stronger United States economy", research firm DataTrek wrote in its morning briefing. Micron Technology rose 4.9 per cent to $56.66, while Cerner added 3.3 per cent to $60.20. The company said its Bloomingdale's and Bluemercury divisions as well as its flagship store brand all did well. Other retailers also rose. Australia's S&P ASX 200 dipped 0.3 percent to 6,088.40 and the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.2 percent to 3,162.23.

FIDO APPROVED: Abaxis vaulted 16.2 per cent to $83.38 after the veterinary diagnostic products company agreed to be acquired by Zoetis. Phillips 66 slipped 0.8 per cent to $117.43 after the Berkshire sold about half of its investment in the oil and gas company.

Bond prices didn't move much.

The US 10-year Treasury yield spiked above the key 3% level to its highest since July 2011 on Tuesday after the retail data.

Stocks are edging higher in early trading as technology and consumer-focused companies rise. Sempra Energy fell 1.4 per cent to $103.79.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil recovered from an early slide, adding 18 cents to settle at $71.49 a barrel in NY. Brent crude, used to price global oil, rose 85 cents to close at $79.28 a barrel in London. The euro weakened to $1.1804 from $1.1847.

Facebook Inc FB.O shares were the biggest drag on the S&P 500, closing down 0.6 percent, on news that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg would appear before members of the European Parliament to answer questions about the improper use of users' data. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was nearly unchanged at 31,097.96 and the Kospi in South Korea was flat, at 2,458.90.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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