Wall Street traded a bit higher on Wednesday, which was mainly helped by a rally in oil prices. The Dow and the S&P are about 1 percent below their 52-week intraday highs, while the Nasdaq gained with a boost from technology stocks. The Dow briefly topped the 18,000 level int he morning trade, and held gains of more than 5 percent for the year so far, but failed to close above it. U.S. crude oil futures gained, and are trying to stay above $51 per barrel.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) steadied above $50 for the first time since July 2015 on Tuesday, helped by the fact that the S&P 500 closed at its highest since July 22. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) data reported a drawback of 3.2 million barrels in crude and builds in both gasoline and distillate inventories, according to Dow Jones. Last Tuesday, The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a large U.S. crude stockpile draw, according to U.S. officials.
“Maybe it’s the rise in oil prices… I don’t have any specific rational reason” said chief market analyst Peter Boockyar, of The Lindsey Group. “the underlying story that’s being ignored is the continued reduction in growth and the decline in earnings.”
At the end of the morning trade, the Dow Jones industrial average traded up 55 points, or 0.3 percent, at 17,994, with healthcare leading advancers and telecommunications leading the decliners. The S&P 500 grew by 5 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,117, with eight of its ten sectors finishing higher. The Nasdaq composite rose by 11 points, or 0.24 percent, to 4,973. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), which is notorious for being the biggest indicator of financial fear, traded higher, above 14. U.S. crude oil futures rose by 66 cents to $51.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures gained $16.30 to a steady $1,263.30 an ounce by midday, while the U.S. dollar index traded a bit lower, with the bro at $1.14 and the yen around 106.7 yen against the greenback.