US stock indexes hold steady as oil's dismal week eases

June 22, 2017 - 10:05 am

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes were close to flat in early trading Thursday after the price of oil stabilized, at least for now.

This week has been dominated oil's tumbling price, which dropped on Wednesday to its lowest level since last summer, and how much it will affect the broader market.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index was virtually flat at 2,435, as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average ticked up by 1 point to 21,411, and the Nasdaq slipped 7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,227.

CRUDE STASIS? Benchmark U.S. crude rose 33 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $42.86 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, jumped 53 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $45.35. If those moves hold, it would mark a big shift in momentum from earlier in the week

Oil on Wednesday touched its lowest price since August, as expectations continue that supplies of crude will exceed demand. Crude has dropped more than 20 percent this year, which puts at peril the big gains in profits that analysts had forecast for energy companies.

WHEN NO CHANGE IS A GOOD CHANGE: Energy stocks in the S&P 500 were close to flat, which could be considered a victory given the group has already lost nearly 15 percent this year.

EARNINGS BOOST: Tech giant Oracle jumped $4.15, or 9 percent, to $50.48 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after reporting stronger revenue and earnings for its latest quarter than analysts expected.

Technology companies are expected to report some of the strongest earnings growth for the April-through-June quarter, one of the reasons their stocks have been helping to lead the market this year.

TAKING OFF: American Airlines Group rose $1.28, or 2.6 percent, to $49.71 after saying that Qatar Airways told its U.S. rival it's looking to buy a 10 percent stake in it.

YIELDS: The 10-year Treasury yield dipped to 2.14 percent from 2.15 percent late Wednesday. The two-year fell to 1.34 percent from 1.35 percent, and the 30-year yield slipped to 2.72 percent from 2.73 percent.

CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.1161 from $1.1167 late Wednesday, and the British pound dipped to $1.2656 from $1.2668. The dollar fell to 111.16 Japanese yen from 111.34 yen.

MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, the French CAC 40 fell 0.4 percent, the German DAX dipped 0.1 percent and the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.3 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.1 percent, South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.1 percent.

COMMODITIES: Gold rose $7, or 0.6 percent, to $1,252.80, silver added 17 cents, or 1 percent, to $16.54 and copper slipped a penny to $2.59 per pound.

Natural gas edged up a penny to $2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil rose a penny to $1.38 per gallon and wholesale gasoline added 2 cents to $1.43 per gallon.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()