Stocks were mixed in midday trade Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average orbiting its new record high on significant gains in the energy complex resulting from an agreement from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day.
The Nasdaq Composite was trading lower amid losses in the healthcare and technology sector, while the S&P 500 was fractionally higher, but down from its all-time high at the open.
Oil futures surged overnight as investors placed bets that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would settle differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia and stabilize market prices. Brent crude shot up as much as 8% to a one-month high, driving the energy complex more than 5% higher. Gains in oil producers followed with Dow component stocks Chevron ( CVX ) and Exxon ( XOM ) leading advancers.
Banking stocks were also outperforming as this morning's economic data raised the odds for the Federal Reserve to hike rates next month. The private sector added 216,000 new jobs in October, beating Wall Street estimates for a solid gain of 160,000.
Additionally, consumer spending increased 0.3% while incomes rose 0.6%, and manufacturing in the Chicago Fed area accelerated to its highest level in over a year. Pending home sales was the only miss with a 0.1% gain in October versus +0.2% estimates.
Wall Street was also applauding President-elect Donald Trump's selection for Treasury Secretary. Former Goldman Sachs banker Steve Mnuchin echoes the President-elect's penchant for corporate tax cuts to stimulate economic growth. Mnuchin called tax reform the income administration's "number one priority."
European bourses followed the lead of their U.S. counterparts and were all trading higher into the close with the energy sector leading the advance. The Euro Stoxx 600 closed the month higher for the first time in three months with a gain of nearly 1%.
Crude oil was up $3.88 to $49.11 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.02 to $3.33 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $16.30 to $1,174.60 an ounce, while silver was down $0.18 to $16.57 an ounce. Copper was up $0.02 to $2.64 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 8.54% to $10.92 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 0.08% to $8.38. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 2.85% to 20.62 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 1.32% to $111.78. The iShares Silver Trust was down 0.89% to $15.63.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index was up 52.38 points (+0.48%) to 10,870.08
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 73.70 points (+0.39%) to 19,195.80
S&P 500 was up 1.93 points (+0.09%) to 2,206.52
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 36.60 points (-0.68%) to 5,343.32
FTSE 100 was up 11.79 points (+0.17%) to 6,783.79
DAX was up 19.81 points (+0.19%) to 10,640.30
CAC 40 was up 26.88 points (+0.59%) to 4,578.34
Nikkei 225 was up 1.44 points (0.00%) to 18,308.48
Hang Seng Index was up 52.70 points (+0.23%) to 22,789.77
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 32.89 points (-1.00%) to 3,250.03
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 564.25 points (+5.29%) to 11,236.92
NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 24.11 points (+0.36%) to 6,727.28
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was down 43.55 points (-0.37%) to 11,702.56
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