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Wall Street stocks show signs of recovery after last week's large falls

Published 02/05/2016

Stocks rose on Wall Street
Stocks rose on Wall Street

US stock indexes moved solidly higher on Monday afternoon, recovering some of last week's steep declines.

Recently battered technology stocks such as and Microsoft all posted gains, helping end a seven-day losing streak in the Nasdaq composite.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 117.52 points, or 0.7%, to 17,891.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 16.13 points, or 0.8%, to 2,081.43 and the Nasdaq rose 42.24 points, or 0.9%, to 4,817.59.

Notably, one major technology stock that did not participate in Monday's gains was Apple, which closed down 10 cents, or 0.15%, to 93.64 US dollars. Apple has fallen eight days in a row, and has now lost 16% of its value in the last two weeks.

Technology stocks have been an unexpected drag on the market in the last week.

Apple reported its first quarterly decline in profits in years, which sent ripples through the stock market. Investors have been moving into safer investments. The Dow Jones utility index, a collection of 15 dividend-paying utility companies, is up more than 14% this year.

"There's a risk-off sentiment in the market right now," said David Lebovitz, a global market strategist at JP Morgan Funds.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock index fell more than 3% overnight as markets there reopened after a holiday. The market fell as Japanese investors continued to react negatively to the Bank of Japan's decision to leave interest rates unchanged. The Japanese yen also continues to climb sharply, which hurts Japanese exporters.

"It's a bit concerning. Investors are beginning to question whether monetary policy can really push Japan's economy forward and generate growth," Mr Lebovitz said.

Among individual companies, Halliburton rose after a 34 billion US dollar merger with Baker Hughes was called off following antitrust concerns from the Justice Department. Halliburton rose 74 cents, or 1.8%, to 42.05 US dollars. Baker Hughes fell 96 cents, or 2%, to 47.40 US dollars.

Apollo Education Group, which runs the University of Phoenix, rose sharply after a group of investors raised their bid for the company. Apollo rose 97%, or 12.4%, to 8.77 US dollars.

A private survey out Monday showed U.S. manufacturing expanded in April for the second straight month, suggesting that factories are adapting to a strong dollar and economic weakness overseas. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index came in at 50.8 last month, down from March's 51.8 reading but above the threshold of 50 that signals growth.

Benchmark US crude oil fell 1.14 US dollars to close at 44.78 US dollars per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell 1.54 US dollars to close at 45.83 US dollars a barrel in London.

In other energy trading in New York, wholesale petrol fell four cents to 1.56 US dollars a gallon, heating oil lost three cents to 1.36 US dollars a gallon and natural gas dropped 14 cents to 2.04 US dollars per 1,000 cubic feet.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.86% from 1.82% late Friday. The dollar slipped to 106.45 yen from 106.73 yen, while the euro strengthened to 1.1523 US dollars from 1.1454 US dollars.

Precious and industrial metals futures ended mixed. Gold rose 5.30 to 1,295.80 US dollars an ounce, silver fell 13 cents to 17.66 US dollars an ounce and copper lost two cents to 2.26 a pound US dollars.

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From Belfast Telegraph