BUSINESS Wall Street rises as Syria fears ease; healthcare stocks jump

BUSINESS

Wall Street rises as Syria fears ease; healthcare stocks jump

Reuters

02:00, April 17, 2018

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Traders react on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 10, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)

U.S. stocks rose on Monday, boosted by healthcare stocks and on easing fears that the recent U.S.-led missile attack on Syria would escalate into a broader conflict.

Merck (MRK.N) rose 2.5 percent after the company presented positive data on its cancer drug Keytruda, driving a 0.7 percent gain in the healthcare index .SPXHC.

The market appeared less concerned about possible retaliation from the air strikes, which marked the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia.

“The action was well-received ... and that’s giving a chance for investors to focus on macro news and earnings,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Attention turned to what is expected to be a robust first-quarter earnings season.

Shares of JB Hunt Transport Services (JBHT.O) jumped 7 percent after the trucking company’s profit topped estimates.

But Bank of America (BAC.N) edged lower despite reporting a better-than-expected increase in quarterly profit

“People are optimistic in the earnings season ... but there are a lot of forces working in the market - technicals, earnings and geopolitics, which is the biggest wild card,” said J.J. Feldman, portfolio manager at Los Angeles-based Miracle Mile Advisors.

At 11:10 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJIwas up 0.82 percent at 24,560.96. The S&P 500 .SPXgained 0.65 percent to 2,673.6 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 0.4 percent at 7,135.34.

“People are optimistic in the earnings season ... but there are a lot of forces working in the market - technicals, earnings and geopolitics, which is the biggest wild card,” said J.J. Feldman, portfolio manager at Los Angeles-based Miracle Mile Advisors.

At 11:10 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJIwas up 0.82 percent at 24,560.96. The S&P 500 .SPXgained 0.65 percent to 2,673.6 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 0.4 percent at 7,135.34.


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