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US markets end higher as energy stocks gain; S&P has best day since December

The S&P 500 registered its biggest daily per centage gain since December 4 and ended back above 1,900 in the heaviest volume day so far this year.

twitter-logoReuters | January 15, 2016 | Updated 12:12 IST
US markets end higher as energy stocks gain; S&P has best day since December
Photo: Reuters

A rally in battered energy shares led US stocks to rebound on Thursday, while financials rose after upbeat results from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The S&P 500 registered its biggest daily per centage gain since December 4 and ended back above 1,900 in the heaviest volume day so far this year.

Though the market finished off its highs for the day, analysts said some investors see a bottom in energy shares, which were among the most heavily sold shares in the market's rout that began at the start of the year.

The S&P energy sector shot up 4.5 per cent, its best per centage gain since late August.

Shares of Exxon Mobil surged 4.6 per cent, also the biggest per centage gain since late August, to $79.12, while Chevron jumped 5.1 per cent to $85.47, among the biggest boosts to the Dow and the S&P 500. US and Brent oil prices ended more than 2 per cent higher. The SPDR Energy Select Sector exchange-traded fund rose 4.3 per cent.

Also rebounding were biotechs, with the Nasdaq Biotech Index ending up 4.0 per cent.

"You have had people trying to pick a bottom both in the energy commodity itself and energy shares a few times in this long slide down and again today," said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

He said exchange-traded funds may have bought energy stocks, forcing short-sellers to cover positions.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 227.64 points, or 1.41 per cent, to 16,379.05, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 31.56 points, or 1.67 per cent, to 1,921.84 and the Nasdaq Composite ended up 88.94 points, or 1.97 per cent, to 4,615.00.

The S&P 500 remains down 9.8 per cent from its May 21, 2015, record closing high, however, and analysts said plenty of caution remains, thanks to lingering concerns about demand for oil and a slowdown in the global economy.

Traders noted the S&P 500 has fallen 10 per cent from near a 52-week high for the second time in a relatively short time, while rallying 10 per cent in between. That's only happened on four other dates - in 1929, in May and October of 2000, and in 2008, "not particularly good years for the bulls," wrote Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS.

Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company in Atlanta, does not see stocks headed for a bear market and said upbeat earnings reports from tech and other companies could put the market on stronger footing.

JPMorgan rose 1.5 per cent to $58.20 on better-than-expected results. Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America also rose.

After the bell, however, shares of Intel fell 4.7 per cent to $31.20 as its results showed a profit that beat expectations but slowing growth in its data center business.

During the regular session, Chipotle was up 6.1 per cent at $454.30 as the company expressed confidence in preventing future food poisoning outbreaks at its chains.

About 10.0 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, compared with the 7.5 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,079 to 1,005, for a 2.07-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,961 issues rose and 899 fell for a 2.18-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 115 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded six new highs and 439 new lows.A rally in battered energy shares led US stocks to rebound on Thursday, while financials rose after upbeat results from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The S&P 500 registered its biggest daily per centage gain since Dec. 4 and ended back above 1,900 in the heaviest volume day so far this year.

Though the market finished off its highs for the day, analysts said some investors see a bottom in energy shares, which were among the most heavily sold shares in the market's rout that began at the start of the year.

The S&P energy sector shot up 4.5 per cent, its best per centage gain since late August.

Shares of Exxon Mobil surged 4.6 per cent, also the biggest per centage gain since late August, to $79.12, while Chevron jumped 5.1 per cent to $85.47, among the biggest boosts to the Dow and the S&P 500. US and Brent oil prices ended more than 2 per cent higher. The SPDR Energy Select Sector exchange-traded fund rose 4.3 per cent.

Also rebounding were biotechs, with the Nasdaq Biotech Index ending up 4.0 per cent.

"You have had people trying to pick a bottom both in the energy commodity itself and energy shares a few times in this long slide down and again today," said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

He said exchange-traded funds may have bought energy stocks, forcing short-sellers to cover positions.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed up 227.64 points, or 1.41 per cent, to 16,379.05, the S&P 500 gained 31.56 points, or 1.67 per cent, to 1,921.84 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC ended up 88.94 points, or 1.97 per cent, to 4,615.00.

The S&P 500 remains down 9.8 per cent from its May 21, 2015, record closing high, however, and analysts said plenty of caution remains, thanks to lingering concerns about demand for oil and a slowdown in the global economy.

Traders noted the S&P 500 has fallen 10 per cent from near a 52-week high for the second time in a relatively short time, while rallying 10 per cent in between. That's only happened on four other dates - in 1929, in May and October of 2000, and in 2008, "not particularly good years for the bulls," wrote Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS.

Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company in Atlanta, does not see stocks headed for a bear market and said upbeat earnings reports from tech and other companies could put the market on stronger footing.

JPMorgan rose 1.5 per cent to $58.20 on better-than-expected results. Citigroup C.N, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America also rose.

After the bell, however, shares of Intel fell 4.7 per cent to $31.20 as its results showed a profit that beat expectations but slowing growth in its data center business.

During the regular session, Chipotle was up 6.1 per cent at $454.30 as the company expressed confidence in preventing future food poisoning outbreaks at its chains.

About 10.0 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, compared with the 7.5 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,079 to 1,005, for a 2.07-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,961 issues rose and 899 fell for a 2.18-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 115 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded six new highs and 439 new lows.

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