Trader Michael Urkonis. left, works with specialists John McNierney, center, and Douglas Johnson on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on November 9, 2018. (Photo: AP).
Stocks in the US are higher Wednesday after two days of steep losses, and major European indexes are also recovering. Major technology companies including Apple and Microsoft are up after tumbling in the last few days. Crude oil prices are up about 4 percent after they sank to a one-year low a day earlier.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index gained 25 points, or 1 percent, to 2,667 as of 11:53 a.m. Eastern time. It’s down 2.5 percent so far this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 143 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,608. The Nasdaq composite added 106 points, or 1.5 percent, to 7,015. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 28 points, or 2 percent, to 1,497.
Trading was light. US markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will be open for a half-day on Friday.
TECH TURNAROUND: Technology companies recovered a sliver of their recent losses. Amazon rose 2.7 percent to $1,536 and Facebook jumped 3.5 percent to $137.05. Apple climbed 0.8 percent to $178.32.
Apple’s market value has dropped by almost $260 billion since early October and Amazon has fallen by $240 billion since early September. Their combined loss of almost $500 billion is greater than the value of almost every other stock on the S&P 500. Aside from Apple and Amazon, only Microsoft, Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway are worth more than $500 billion.
IF THE SHOE FITS: Retailer Foot Locker jumped 16.2 percent to $53.56 after its third-quarter profit and revenue surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. The company said sales broke out of a slump and prices also rose. Foot Locker added that it expects strong sales over the holidays.
That contributed to a rebound for retailers after they dropped on Tuesday. Home improvement company Lowe’s gained 2.6 percent to $88.44 and Nike rose 1.9 percent to $72.50.
Elsewhere, design software maker Autodesk climbed 8.6 percent to $133.68 after a strong quarterly report. The company also said it is buying construction software company PlanGrid for $875 million.
ENERGY: Oil prices rebounded Wednesday as benchmark U.S. crude gained 3.8 percent to $55.48 a barrel in New York. It fell 6.6 percent on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard traded in London, advanced 1 percent to $63.16 a barrel.
Exxon Mobil jumped 1.3 percent to $77.98 and Chevron rose 1.9 percent to $118.25.
Crude prices have plunged since early October as global stockpiles surged. Production increased after the U.S. said it would re-impose sanctions on Iran’s energy sector, but it later granted waivers that allowed many countries that buy oil from Iran to continue making those purchases. Investors have also gotten nervous about the pace of global economic growth.
BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.08 percent from 3.04 percent. That sent interest rates higher, which helped banks. Citigroup jumped 1.8 percent to $63.63 and Bank of America rose 1.1 percent to $27.68.
Utilities and other high-dividend stocks also declined. Those companies have done better than the rest of the market during turbulent trading in October and November, but when the market makes a broad rebound they usually get left behind. Coca-Cola fell 1.1 percent to $48.84 and Duke Energy lost 1.9 percent to $86.85.
ECONOMIC CONCERN: A global economic adviser cut its forecast for economic growth in 2019 and said the world economy faces growing risks, including from trade disputes and higher interest rates. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which advises many of the world’s richest economies, now expects the global economy to grow 3.5 percent instead of 3.7 percent next year. Concerns about slower growth in the global economy have contributed to the market’s recent losses.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.98 yen from 112.40 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1405 from $1.1399.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX jumped 1.6 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.4 percent and the CAC 40 in France added 1 percent.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 0.4 percent and the Kospi in South Korea was down 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.5 percent.