Published: Fri, May 26, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

How major USA stock market indexes fared on Thursday

How major USA stock market indexes fared on Thursday

Two top USA equity indexes scaled record peaks on Thursday after strong earnings reports from retailers, outpacing European shares which were little changed, while oil prices plunged after top crude producers extended output cuts for a shorter period than expected.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record closing highs on Thursday, with the market propped up by gains in the consumer discretionary sector after strong reports from Best Buy and other retailers.

While gains were broad based, the consumer discretionary index's 0.83 percent surge was easily the highest among the 11 major S&P sectors.

European shares struggled for direction, with investors hunting for fresh catalysts as a blistering earnings season that helped stocks surge to new highs nears its end.

"The lack of fear, the complacency is supporting the market", said Jimmy Chang, chief investment strategist at Rockefeller & Co in NY. "The lack of fear, the complacency is supporting the market".

That helped offset oil declines that came after what was described by analysts as an underwhelming finish to the Vienna meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Crude prices fell around 5 percent despite a decision by OPEC to extend its production cut deal for nine months until March 31.

Brent, the leading global crude benchmark, settled down 4.6%, at $51.46 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

Sheets Smith Wealth Management Has $385000 Stake in Procter & Gamble Co (PG)
Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the stock to "Buy" rating in Tuesday, January 19 report. 4,367,960 shares of the company were exchanged. S&T Bank & Trust Pa accumulated 6,617 shares. $158,397 worth of Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) was sold by Skoufalos Ioannis .

On the Dow, more than two thirds of the blue chips were higher by the close, with gains led by UnitedHealth Group ( UNH ) and Travelers ( TRV ), up 1.4% and 1.3% each.

Medtronic was up 1.6 percent at $86.05 after the medical device maker reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.

The discretionary index .SPLRCD gained 0.9 percent, while the S&P 500 retail index .SPXRT was up 1.6 percent, its best day since December 7. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 18.5 points, or 0.32 percent, on volume of 38,870 contracts.

At 10:50 a.m. ET (1450 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 81.44 points, or 0.39 percent, at 21,093.86.

"The Fed made it pretty clear that the economic slowdown is transitory and as long as the economic data picks up, we should see a rate hike next month".

US Treasury yields fell slightly on the doubts over whether the Fed would raise interest rates a few times by the end of 2017.

Canada's main stock index started on a positive note, but dipped into the red by late-morning.

USA gold futures settled up 0.3 per cent at US$1,256.40.

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