February 9, 2017 / 3:00 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Oil prices prop up Wall St; Nasdaq hits record high

* Weekly jobless claims fall to near 43-yr low

* Energy stocks gain as oil prices rise

* Viacom rises 4 pct as quarterly profit beats estimates

* Indexes up: Dow 0.16 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct (Updates to open)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Feb 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the Nasdaq hitting a record high, helped by higher oil prices.

Oil prices rose more than 1.5 percent, rising for the second straight day, supported by an unexpected draw in U.S. gasoline inventories.

The S&P 500 energy sector was up 0.9 percent.

The fourth-quarter earnings season has been largely upbeat, with combined earnings of S&P 500 companies estimated to have risen 8.3 percent, the highest in nine quarters.

However, Wall Street’s reaction to corporate earnings has been muted as investors remain cautious given the recent run-up in the market and policy uncertainty under newly elected President Donald Trump.

“Investors are cautiously optimistic about the current environment,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive officer at 50 Parks Investment in Florida. “It’s almost like a Goldilocks situation where it’s neither too hot, nor too cold.”

A report from the Labor Department showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 43-year low of 234,000 last week, pointing to tighter labor market conditions.

At 9:39 a.m. ET (1439 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 32.66 points, or 0.16 percent, at 20,087.

The S&P 500 was up 3.94 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,298.61 - just 2 points shy of its all-time high.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 11.43 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,693.88, easing slightly from its record high of 5,695.94. Apple rose 0.38 percent and was its biggest driver.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher.

Coca-Cola fell 2.6 percent to $40.96 after the beverage maker forecast a drop in full-year adjusted profit. The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P.

Twitter sank 10 percent after the microblogging website reported its slowest revenue growth since going public in 2013.

Viacom was the biggest gainer on the S&P, rising 4.3 percent as its quarterly profit beat analysts’ expectations.

CVS rose 2.2 percent after the pharmacy store chain reported a jump in quarterly revenue.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,675 to 890. On the Nasdaq, 1,512 issues rose and 684 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 38 new highs and eight new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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