USA stocks mostly higher on tech strength; Boeing hurts Dow

Irving Hamilton
March 15, 2019

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street, led by gains in health care and technology companies and giving the market its third straight gain.

The S&P 500 posted its biggest increase since late January.

The S&P 500 is up 48.45 points, or 1.8 per cent.

The price of gold rose 7 cents to $1,291.10 an ounce, silver rose 14 cents to $15.41 an ounce and copper rose 3 cents to $2.93 a pound.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 96.22 points, or 0.38 percent, to 25,554.66 on Tuesday.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said Boeing's impact on the Dow was not indicative of the performance of the wider market.

U.S. data that showed inflation was low helped boost stocks since it lessened the chances of the U.S. Fed raising interest rates, said Taylor. The S&P 500 rose 8.22 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 2,791.52 as health care and utilities stocks led gains, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 32.97 points, or 0.4%, to finish at 7,591.03.

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Rite Aid jumped 3.5 per cent after the company announced a management purge, which includes the CEO, and plans to cut 400 jobs.

Although, the Federal Aviation Administration declared the 737 Max 8 airworthy, more regulators have chose to ground the planes, including those in Australia, Singapore and the Middle East.

The Commerce Department meanwhile reported United States retail sales had recovered slightly after a dismal December.

Stocks are opening broadly higher on Wall Street, although a sharp drop in Boeing is pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower.

Ethiopian Airlines confirmed that a Boeing 737 MAX 8, bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed shortly after taking off from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa Sunday morning, killing all 157 people onboard. The S&P 500 moves up and down based on changes in its members' market value, but the Dow bounces around according to changes in its 30 members' stock prices. The catalyst behind the rally was Bank of America Merrill Lynch's upgrade of the stock to buy from neutral. Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.82 a gallon, heating oil fell less than 1 cent to $1.99 a gallon and natural gas rose 1 cent to $2.78 per 1,000 cubic feet. Brent crude rose 11 cents to $66.78 a barrel.

The share price drops helped push down the S&P/TSX industrials index by 0.76 per cent to be second only to the consumer discretionary index for losses on the day.

The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2 percent last month, in line with estimates, and in the 12 months through February the CPI rose 1.5 percent, the smallest gain since September 2016.

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