More energy gains lift US stocks after holiday break
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising Friday as retailers climb at the start of the post-Thanksgiving shopping period. Energy companies rose after Bloomberg reported that a group of key oil producers plans to extend their cuts in production until the end of 2018.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,601 as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 41 points, or 0.2 percent, to 23,567. The Nasdaq composite gained 11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,878 after it closed at a record high Wednesday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies edged up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,518.
Trading was expected to be muted after the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. markets will close at 1 p.m. ET.
OIL: U.S. benchmark crude rose 71 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $ 58.73 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 1 cent to $ 63.5 a barrel in London.
Bloomberg reported that the nations of OPEC and Russia have agreed to extend their latest cuts in oil production until the end of 2018. OPEC and a group of other important oil producers will meet in Vienna at the end of the month to discuss cuts they announced one year ago and implemented at the start of 2017.
Hess gained 71 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $ 44.16 and Chevron advanced 80 cents to $ 116.71.
AMAZ-OFF: Workers at six Amazon distribution centers in Germany and another in Italy went on strike in a protest timed to coincide with Black Friday. They’re seeking better wages. The one-day labor action didn’t affect Amazon’s stock, which rose $ 17.67, or 1.5 percent, to $ 1,173.83.
Other retailers traded higher as well. Experts are mostly predicting strong sales over the holiday shopping period because of increased consumer confidence and a very low unemployment rate. The National Retail Federation trade group expects sales for that period to at least match last year’s rise of 3.6 percent and estimates online spending and other non-store sales will rise 11 to 15 percent.
Big retailers like Wal-Mart and Urban Outfitters and Gap have also reported strong quarterly results recently. On Friday, Macy’s jumped 81 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $ 21.44 and Gap added 51 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $ 29.68. Best Buy picked up 33 cents to $ 56.82.
SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR: Amazon, along with tech giants Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google’s parent company Alphabet, have played a huge role in the market’s gains this year. Those five companies combined are responsible for more than one-fourth of the value the S&P 500 has gained this year. Amazon is trading at all-time highs and the other four set record highs earlier this month.
CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 111.35 yen from 111.22 yen. The euro strengthened to $ 1.1881 from $ 1.1854.
BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.33 percent from 2.32 percent late Wednesday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.40 yen from 111.77 yen. The euro rose to $ 1.1916 from $ 1.1822.
OVERSEAS: France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent and the DAX in Germany gained 0.5 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1 percent while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rebounded 0.5 percent and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3 percent.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at https://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jayt