Wall Street rises; Boeing up despite US grounding of 737 MAX jets

Wall Street rises; Boeing up despite US grounding of 737 MAX jets

U.S. stocks rose broadly on Wednesday after fresh economic data strengthened the Federal Reserve's patient stance on future rate hikes and as Boeing rose for the first time since Sunday's deadly crash of a 737 MAX 8 jet in Ethiopia.

A trader works on the floor at the NYSE in New York
A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK: U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, led by gains in healthcare shares, and Boeing edged upward even as the United States joined other nations in grounding the company's 737 MAX jets.

Boeing Co shares ended up 0.5 percent at US$377.14, recovering from a more than 3 percent fall in the afternoon, when the United States announced it was grounding Boeing's 737 MAX jets following Sunday's fatal crash in Ethiopia.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration cited new satellite data and evidence from the scene of Sunday's crash, the second disaster involving the 737 MAX in less than five months. Boeing shares are still down about 11 percent since Friday's close.

Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York, said the grounding gives Boeing time to address any problems and not face another potential disaster.

"It seems like the worst is over for Boeing," he said. "The fact that (the stock) appears to be stabilizing means the market appreciates that."

The world's largest planemaker had been the best-performing Dow component this year.

Also helping stocks Wednesday, fresh economic data strengthened the Federal Reserve's patient stance on future interest rate hikes.

CVS Health Corp rose 3.5 percent after Bernstein started coverage of the pharmacy benefit manager with an "outperform" rating. The S&P 500 healthcare index rose 1.1 percent. UnitedHealth Group shares rose 2.6 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 148.23 points, or 0.58 percent, to 25,702.89, the S&P 500 gained 19.4 points, or 0.69 percent, to 2,810.92 and the Nasdaq Composite added 52.37 points, or 0.69 percent, to 7,643.41.

Also gaining were energy shares, with the S&P 500 energy index finishing up 1.09 percent.

Adding to the upbeat mood was a vote in which British lawmakers rejected leaving the European Union without a deal in any scenario.

Fueling some volatility in afternoon trading, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was in no rush to complete a trade deal with China that Washington wants to include structural reforms by Beijing, including how it treats U.S. intellectual property.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 2.43-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.62-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 61 new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 65 new highs and 30 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Medha Singh; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown)

Source: Reuters

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