U.S. stock indices were higher, recovering nearly all of Wednesday's losses, as Wall Street's appetite for risk improved on signs China is willing to make concessions to avert a trade war with the U.S. Sizable gains in the industrial and technology sectors elevated the Dow Jones Industrial Average by more than 200 points with all but three component stocks in the green.
Wall Street also took some comfort by mostly benign inflation data and a number of sizable M&A deals, incuding an upsized bid for Sky PLC and $18.9 billion deal in the semiconductor sector.
Consumer prices increased by just 0.1% in June, below the estimated up 0.2%. Excluding the volatile food and fuel segment, prices were higher by 0.2%, in-line with expectations. The reaction by Wall Street was mitigated, however, by the 2.9% annualized rate of inflation, a 6-year high and up from 2.8% last month.
This morning's other data included a much greater-than-expected drop in initial jobless claims of 18,000 to 214,000 versus 225,000 estimates.
Powered by gains in the media and financial sectors, European shares rise on Thursday with the FTSE-100 gaining 0.78% and Germany's DAX up 0.60%. Sky PLC underpinned media shares in the wake of Comcast's ( CMCSA ) superior $34 billion bid over 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA).
Crude oil was down $0.90 to $69.48 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.04 to $2.79 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $3.20 to $1,247.70 an ounce, while silver was up $0.18 to $16.00 an ounce. Copper was up $0.04 to $2.78 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.63% to $14.22 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 0.92% to $22.69. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 1.06% to 22.22 while SPDR Gold Shares was up 0.45% to $118.17. The iShares Silver Trust was up 1.21% to $15.04.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index was up 59.22 points (+0.47%) to 12,750.85
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 218.60 points (+0.89%) to 24,919.05
S&P 500 was up 20.53 points (+0.74%) to 2,794.55
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 88.13 points (+1.14%) to 7,804.77
FTSE 100 was up 59.37 points (+0.78%) to 7,651.33
DAX was up 75.84 points (+0.61%) to 12,492.97
CAC 40 was up 51.97 points (+0.97%) to 5,405.90
Nikkei 225 was up 255.75 points (+1.17%) to 22,187.96
Hang Seng Index was up 169.14 points (+0.60%) to 28,480.83
Shanghai China Composite Index was up 60.53 points (+2.18%) to 2,838.30
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 27.65 points (+0.23%) to 12,160.86
NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 22.67 points (+0.29%) to 7,912.65
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 150.85 points (+1.02%) to 14,982.86
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