Wall Street edges lower, energy stocks fall


Markets Right Now: Stocks open higher as earnings roll in

Health was the second best performing sector after tech, which gained 2.22% after the tech-heavy Nasdaq index posted its record close.

The stock market has rebounded sharply this year after a steep sell-off in December that pulled the S&P 500 just 0.2% from entering a bear market, or decline of 20% from its peak.

European oil and gas shares jumped 2 per cent, with BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc leading gains in London, while the FTS Eurofirst 300 Index of leading European shares hit eight-month highs. With a 106 point gain, the NASDAQ finished at 8,121.

The S&P 500 index gained 25.71 points, or 0.9%, to 2,933.68.

The recovery has been fueled by investor confidence in the prospects for steady growth and an increasingly hands-off Federal Reserve, which has signaled this year that it may not raise interest rates at all in 2019 after seven increases the prior two years.

Oil prices steadied near six-month highs after data that showed USA stockpiles rose to their highest since October 2017.

Twitter shares soared 15.6% after the social media company posted better-than-expected quarterly revenue and a surprise increase in monthly active users.

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Wall Street shrugged off some earnings misses and rose slightly.

"Let's be honest, expectations were fairly low coming in to earning season, the market was bracing itself for a pretty poor outpouring of numbers", said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59.34 points, or 0.22%, to 26,597.05.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq jumped to all-time records on Tuesday (April 23) following a barrage of mostly positive earnings reports that boosted confidence in the economic outlook.

By the end of this earnings season, more than 140 S&P 500 companies will have released their calendar first-quarter results.

Chip stocks rose as much as 1.9 per cent to a record high after shares of Texas Instruments clawed back losses.

U.S. stocks soared on upbeat results from Twitter Inc, Coca-Cola Co, United Technologies Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp, which eased fears of a profit recession in a busy week for corporate earnings. Boeing Co rose 0.39% after the planemaker reported first-quarter free cash flow that was ahead of many analysts' estimates, helped by improved performance from its 787 Dreamliner program.

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ADD TO CART: E-commerce company eBay rose 5.3% after raising its full-year sales and profit forecast.

US crude inventories rose 5.5 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said, far more than the 1.3 million barrel increase analysts had forecast.

However, the Australian dollar fell significantly, down 0.5 per cent to 71 United States cents. Natural gas fell 2.7% to $2.46 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The June crude contract was down 41 cents at US$65.89 per barrel and the June natural gas contract was up 0.1 of a cent at US$2.50 per mmBTU.

The euro was down 0.61% at $1.1157, while the Japanese yen strengthened 0.3% versus the greenback at 112.19 per dollar.

The June gold contract was up US$6.20 at US$1,279.40 an ounce and the May copper contract was up 1.65 cents at US$2.91 a pound.

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