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US stocks positive amid heightened volatility

US stocks positive amid heightened volatility

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks were modestly higher at mid-morning after briefly slipping into negative territory as volatility continued to plague the market following big drops this week.

At around 1610 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 23.938.59, up 0.3 percent, recovering after briefly going negative.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to 2,593.006, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.5 percent to 6,812.69.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare said a spending deal overnight Thursday in Washington to end a brief government shutdown was largely positive, but that “investor sentiment is understandably on shaky ground this morning” after the Dow shed more than 1,000 points on Thursday.

Global markets have been on edge all week following a huge plunge in US stocks Monday that was followed by rollercoaster moves on Tuesday and Wednesday and another big decline Thursday.

The initial catalyst for the selloff was last Friday’s strong US jobs report, which heightened expectations that the Federal Reserve would move more aggressively to lift interest rates.

Since then, US Treasury bond yields have risen as market pundits warn of rising inflation. Global bourses have also suffered losses, with Japan’s Nikkei losing 2.3 percent Friday and European markets solidly lower.

Several large technology companies posted strong gains, with Apple, Facebook, Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft all up more than one percent.

But Amazon dropped 1.4 percent following at Wall Street Journal report that it is preparing a limited launch of a delivery service that would compete directly with services like Fedex and UPS. Both FedEx and UPS fell about 2.0 percent.

Online travel giant Expedia plunged 16.2 percent after reporting fourth-quarter earnings and profits that missed analyst expectations. Fellow online travel companies Tripadvisor and Priceline both lost more than three percent.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2018

Source: Brecorder.com

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