Wall Street dips as caution sets in

Wall Street dips as caution sets in

About 7.8 billion shares changed hands in USA exchanges, compared with the 8.4 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

On the downside, Barrick Gold Corp. declined 3.3 per cent to $16.58 after the world's biggest gold producer projected an output drop over the next four years. "Corporate earnings are surging", Ameriprise chief market strategist David Joy said.

Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street after several US companies reported solid results.

On a day of heavy trading in healthcare companies, Henry Schein and Patterson Companies fell 6.64 per cent and 5.19 per cent, respectively, after news of a US Federal Trade Commission complaint against the dental supply firms.

The financials group erased early gains and sat flat.

Volume on US exchanges was 7.12 billion shares, below the 8.46 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Industrial companies were also higher.

A dip in the late morning Thursday briefly put indexes into the red, but stocks were higher again at lunchtime. Energy companies got some relief as oil prices turned higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 306.88 points (1.23 per cent) to end the day at 25,200.37. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.45 per cent to 7,013.51. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies was unchanged at 1,521. Trading volumes have returned to more typical levels this week. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained $1.64, or 2.6 percent, to $64.36 a barrel in London. Baker Hughes is down 19 per cent while Exxon is down 10 per cent and Chevron is down 11 per cent. Cisco climbed $1.48, or 3.5 per cent, to $43.57.

TripAdvisor gained about 14 per cent after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue. The stock has surged 27 per cent this year.

Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer was on duty when fatally shot
Bauer, who was downtown leaving training session, was shot after trying to help stop a man being pursued by tactical officers. Bauer is the first Chicago police officer killed since 2011 and is "the highest-ranking officer killed in decades".

TripAdvisor soared 11 per cent after reporting a narrower loss than analysts expected.

Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries shot up 7.5 per cent after respected United States billionaire investor Warren Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, took a stake in the generic drug maker. That includes several drops that were far larger than anything the market endured previous year. Two years ago it was worth more than $55 a share.

Also due is last week's jobless claims data as well as industrial production data is scheduled to be released.

Technology shares were generally upward-bound, with Google-parent Alphabet winning 1.9 per cent, Expedia 2.1 per cent and Netflix 5.4 per cent. Honeywell picked up $143 to $151.81.

Big increases from Apple, Microsoft and Cisco drove the tech sector higher, helping to erase more of the swift drop stocks had in early February. Rising prices can be a signal that inflation is increasing, but that didn't concern investors very much on Thursday. The index remains down about 6 per cent from its record high on January 26.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained 9 cents to $59.29 a barrel in NY.

Some market watchers say the recent bout of turbulence may not be over.

This is quite rational, given most thought there were going to be at least three interest rate rises there this year.

In a worst-case scenario, consumers and businesses might start pulling back on spending as they see prices rise rapidly in the coming months (or years). The S&P 500 fell more than 5 per cent in just two days, then gained it back nearly as quickly. CSRA climbed $9.57, or 31.1 percent, to $40.39 Monday.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent to 21,435.13 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.3 percent to 30,908.64. Markets in China and South Korea are closed on Thursday for the Lunar New Year holiday.

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