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Close Update: Stocks Inch Higher to Start 2019 After Choppy Session

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Stocks managed to claw out small gains in the first trading day of 2019 after a choppy session.

Major market gauges opened sharply lower amid global economic growth concerns after manufacturing data out of China helped put investors in a selling mood. Stocks did manage to rally off their intraday lows as oil futures surged. That advance for stocks faltered and market indexes were lower late in the day. Late-session buying did manage to push major gauges into the green to close the session, led by the Nasdaq Composite Index, which rose 0.5%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell almost 400 points intraday, managed about a 19-point gain, led by Goldman Sachs ( GS ) and Exxon Mobil ( XOM ). The S&P 500 climbed 0.1%.

Investors are opening the year with a lot of questions over economic growth, interest rates and the trade dispute between the US and China.

Thanks to surging oil prices , the energy sector was the best performing part of the S&P 500 Wednesday. Energy companies in the S&P 500 rose 2% as a group as West Texas Intermediate crude oil for February delivery rose 2.5% to $46.55 late Wednesday. Shares of companies in the communications services sector, along with consumer discretionary stocks, also posted solid advances.

Meanwhile, the health care, utilities and real estate sectors were the notable losers in the session.

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 18.78 points (+0.08%)

S&P 500 was up 3.18 points (+0.13%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 30.66 points (+0.46%)

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 0.09% to 6,734.23

Hang Seng Index was down 2.8% to 25,130.35

Shanghai China Composite Index was down 1.15% to 2,465.29

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) PRAN (+50%) Life Biosciences to invest $44.5 million in Prana

(+) MRT (+44.44%) To be acquired by Omega Healthcare Investors ( OHI ) for approximately $600 million

(+) ABAC (+56.32%) To acquire portfolio of residential and industrial properties

(+) WIN (+21.53%) Sold Earthlink internet business $330 million

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) MYOK (-14.14%) Ended collaboration with Sanofi ( SNY ), regained rights to Mavacamten and MYK-19

(-) TYME (-8.4%) Announced 12.09 million share offering

(-) TSLA (-6.81%) Missed Wall Street estimates for deliveries

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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