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Us Stocks-Wall Street Gets a Lift from Crude Oil Recovery - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Wall Street address carved into the side of a building in New York.

As energy shares were pushed higher by a strong oil prices recovery, Wall Street was higher on Wednesday afternoon. Brent crude extended gains above $40 a barrel, after U.S. crude stockpiles rose along with estimates last week and gasoline inventories dropped more than expected.

The rise in oil prices aided European shares to bounce back on Wednesday, even as investors were upset about global economic conditions ahead of central bank meetings on monetary policies. Crude oil has rallied in recent weeks, but industry watchers remained skeptical of a sustained recovery in prices as the markets are dealing with a massive oversupply.

Bill Northey, chief investment officer of the private client group at U.S. Bank. in Helena, Montana said
“It’s the same three culprits that have been driving the first two months of the year and that is – central bank policy, China and oil”.

At 14:24 p.m. ET (1924 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 32.12 points, or 0.19 percent, at 16,996.22, the S&P 500 was up 8.37 points, or 0.42 percent, at 1,987.63 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 22.44 points, or 0.48 percent, at 4,671.26. Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, ran by a 1.69 percent rise in energy shares. Chevron was up 4.8 percent at $93 and gave the biggest boost to the sector.

It is greatly expected from the European Central Bank to increase its stimulus program at its meeting on Thursday. While the U.S. Federal Reserve is not estimated to raise interest rates at its meeting on March 15-16, the central bank has said it is on track to raise rates gradually this year.

Biotechs came under pressure after the U.S. government proposed a test program aimed at lowering Medicare drug costs. The Nasdaq Biotechnology sector was down 1.3 percent.

Amgen’s 2.3 percent decline was the biggest drag on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500. Regeneron was down 4.8 percent and Celgene fell 1.7 percent. Chipotle Mexican Grill was down 2.9 percent at $509.01. The company, already reeling from several food-borne illnesses, temporarily shut a Massachusetts restaurant after four employees fell sick.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,117 to 838. On the Nasdaq, 1,712 issues rose and 1,025 fell. The S&P 500 index showed 27 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 41 new highs and 36 lows.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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