US Stocks Mostly Up After Durable Goods; Technology Shares Hit

U.S. stocks mostly rose on Wednesday, with benchmark indexes struggling to extend gains into a second day, after data showed orders for longer-lasting products gained more than expected even as corporate spending on equipment declined.

“Better than expected is not enough to move us a lot higher than where we are here. We need to see more gas in the tanks, the market needs more data that says ‘yes, we see growth accelerating’ as we transition from weather-related soft data,” aid Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

“The headline-beating 2.2% jump in orders for new durable goods in February was driven by a rebound in the transport sector. Stripping out that volatile component saw orders rise by a more humble 0.2 percent,” noted Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers.

“Relative to expectations the report showed pockets of strength, but failed overall to signal the final passage of a cruel winter,” he added.

Financial-data firm Markit reported its Purchasing Managers Index hit 55.8 in March, up from 54.1 a month earlier.

Facebook fell after acquiring Oculus VR, which makes virtual-reality headsets. King Digital Entertainment declined in its first day as a publicly traded company, with the maker of the mobile game “Candy Crush” pricing its shares at $22.50 Tuesday after the market closed.

 

Name

Price

 

Change

%Change

DJIA

Dow Jones Industrial Average

16382.80

 

14.92

0.09%

S&P 500

S&P 500 Index

1868.55

 

2.93

0.16%

NASDAQ

Nasdaq Composite Index

4222.86

 

-11.40

-0.27%

After a 98-point jump, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lately up 35.68 points, or 0.2 percent, at 16,403.56, with Merck & Co. pacing gains that included 26 of the index’s 30 components.

The S&P 500 advanced 4.78 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,870.40, with health care companies faring best.

“Other than health care, things are just not holding up,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG.

The Nasdaq fluctuated, lately down less than a point at 4,233.64.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a measure of investor uncertainty, fell 0.3 percent to 13.98.

Advancers were a step ahead of decliners on the New York Stock Exchange, where 209 million shares traded as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Composite volume hit 1 billion.

The dollar gained against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners and the 10-year Treasury yield fell 2 basis points to 2.727 percent.

Crude-oil futures for May delivery increased by 65 cents to $99.84 a barrel; gold futures for April delivery fell $9.80 to $1,301.60 an ounce.

On Tuesday, U.S. stocks finished higher for the first session in three after data had consumer confidence hitting a six-year high.

Source: CNBC

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