The U.S. financial markets traded higher Tuesday, after gaining overseas equities. Traders eye oil prices and considered whether or not there is truly going to be a June rate hike. The Nasdaq composite struggled for gains, as energy traded over a half a percent higher in order to lead the S&P 500 advancers. U.S. crude oil futures held above $50 a barrel, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) hitting its highest level since October 2015. The Labor Department said that productivity levels, that of which measure each worker’s hourly output, contracted at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent, rather than the 1.0 percent reported for May.
“If the SPX finishes the week at current levels, it would allow for confirmation of the breakout from its downtrend channel in a bullish development,” said chief technical strategist Katie Stockton, of BTIG. “We think one of the biggest challenges for the market is sentiment, which tends to be complacent near market tops.”
At the end of the morning trade, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 68 points, or 0.38 percent, to 17,988, with technology stocks leading advancers and pharmaceutical stocks leading decliners. The S&P 500 gained 4 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,133, as energy lead almost all of the sectors higher. The Nasdaq composite rose by 0.5 points, or 0.01 percent, to 4,969. The CBOE Volatility Index, VIX, which is notorious for being the best indicator of fear in the financial market, traded at a low 13.5.
Two stocks advanced for every decline on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of around 59 million, and a composite volume of 196 million. U.S. crude oil futures gained 37 cents to $50.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while gold futures dropped $4.60 to $1,242.80 an ounce at the end of the morning trade.