Energy, industrial shares lead US stocks higher

Energy, industrial shares lead US stocks higher

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished a volatile week on a positive note on Friday (May 19), with advances by energy and industry shares lifting the market.

It was the second straight day of gains after Wednesday's rout, when major US indices fell more than 1.5 per cent on worries about President Donald Trump's growth agenda following a series of stumbles and scandals.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 141.82 points (0.69 per cent) at 20,804.84.

The broad-based S&P 500 won 16.01 points (0.68 per cent) to 2,381.73, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 28.57 points (0.47 per cent) to 6,083.70.

The gains suggested investors were eager to jump in and take advantage of depressed prices after Wednesday's losses.

US oil prices finished above the psychologically important US$50 a barrel level, boosting energy shares such as Dow member Chevron and Halliburton.

Other Dow members with strong gains were industrials Boeing, Caterpillar and General Electric, all up about two per cent.

Farm machinery maker Deere surged 7.3 per cent after reporting a 62 per cent rise in second-quarter earnings to US$802.4 million and describing an improvement in equipment demand in South America.

Gap fell 3.9 per cent after reporting a 12.6 per cent rise in first-quarter earnings to US$143 million. Analysts expressed worry that two of the company's store chains, Gap and Banana Republic, had lower comparable sales.

Other companies with large stock moves after earnings included Foot Locker, down 16.7 per cent, and Autodesk, up 14.7 per cent.

Source: AFP/ec

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