Powered by outsized gains in the energy complex and ahead of Q4 earnings in the banking sector, Wall Street's benchmark averages are all trading sharply higher at midday on Thursday with small cap stocks outperforming. The Dow, Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 all set record highs, staging a significant comeback from Wednesday's sell-off despite soft labor market and inflation data.
Investors were pouring back into stocks and bonds overnight after China dispelled rumors it would stop buying U.S. Treasuries, and Delta Airlines ( DAL ) kicked off the Q4 earnings season with better-than-expected results.
A miss on both initial jobless claims and the producer price index failed to dent the uptrade even as first time unemployment claims jumped 11,000 to a 15-week high of 261,000, and wholesale prices dropped 0.1%. Wall Street was expecting a drop in claims, and producer prices to increase 0.2%.
Higher oil prices is also driving demand for equities with the futures contract setting a three-year high on shrinking U.S. supply, sending shares of Dow component stock Chevron ( CVX ) to a record high, and Exxon Mobile ( XOM ) to its highest level in nearly a year.
European bourses were unimpressed by gains in the U.S. with euro-zone indices all closing lower as the hawkish minutes from the European Central Bank meeting catapulted the euro higher and sent equity prices lower. The UK's FTSE-100, however, closed with a new record high.
Crude oil was up $0.98 to $64.55 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.16 to $3.07 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $3.50 to $1,322.70 an ounce, while silver was down $0.03 to $17.00 an ounce. Copper was down $0.003 to $3.23 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 1.71% to $12.90 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 5.31% to $24.21. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.36% to 23.30 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.36% to $125.48. The iShares Silver Trust was up 0.09% to $16.03.
Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index was up 65.51 points (+0.50%) to 13,172.12
Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 126.14 points (+0.50%) to 25,495.27
S&P 500 was up 9.94 points (+0.36%) to 2,758.14
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 29.09 points (+0.41%) to 7,182.58
FTSE 100 was up 14.43 points (+0.19%) to 7,762.94
DAX was down 78.44 points (-.59%) to 13,202.90
CAC 40 was down 16.13 points (-0.29%) to 5,488.55
Nikkei 225 was down 77.77 points (-0.33%) to 23,710.43
Hang Seng Index was up 46.67 points (+0.15%) to 31,120.39
Shanghai China Composite Index was up 3.74 points (+0.11%) to 3,425.57
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 214.68 points (+1.80%) to 12,126.28
NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 15.58 points (+0.19%) to 8,429.03
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 24.34 points (+0.17%) to 14,663.09
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