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Sunday September 25th, 2022 5:46PM

Stocks make gains, oil prices rise as OPEC raises production

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks on Wall Street are clawing back some of their recent losses in afternoon trading Thursday, despite ongoing wariness among investors about stubbornly high inflation and rising interest rates.

The S&P 500 was up 1.4% as of 2:47 p.m. Eastern, with all but two of the benchmark index's 11 sectors moving higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 292 points, or 0.9%, at 33,106, while the Nasdaq rose 2.4%.

Technology stocks, whose lofty values tend to give the broader market a harder push higher or lower, accounted for a big share of the rally after shaking off an early stumble. Chipmaker Nvidia jumped 6.8% and software maker Adobe rose 5.3%.

Communications stocks, companies that rely on direct consumer spending and some big industrial firms gained ground. Facebook parent Meta Platforms rose 6%, Expedia Group added 6.1% and Boeing climbed 7.1%.

Small company stocks rose, signaling confidence about economic growth. The Russell 2000 gained 2.1%.

Bond yields were relatively stable. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which helps set interest rates on mortgages and other loans, fell to 2.91% from 2.93% from late Wednesday.

Utilities and energy stocks fell. Alliant Energy dropped 1.8% and Chevron was down 0.9%

The pullback in energy stocks came as U.S. crude oil prices rose 1.4%, despite the OPEC oil cartel and allied producing countries including Russia said they will raise production by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August.

Rising energy prices have been feeding inflation, which is already at its highest levels in four decades. U.S. gasoline prices hit another record high Thursday, with the average price at the pump costing $4.71 per gallon, according to motoring club federation AAA.

Investors remain focused on the balance between inflation, rising interest rates and economic growth. The Federal Reserve is being closely watched as it tries to temper the impact from inflation by raising interest rates from historic lows during the pandemic.

Several economic reports on Wednesday bolstered expectations for the Fed to keep raising interest rates aggressively. Wall Street is concerned that the Fed could slow economic growth too much and potentially send the economy into a recession.

Wall Street will get another glimpse into the health of the broader economy on Friday when the Labor Department releases its employment report for May. The jobs market had initially been slow to recover from the impact of the virus pandemic, but has bounced back strongly with low unemployment and plentiful job postings.

Meanwhile high inflation is eating into corporate profits, while the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 restrictions in China have also weighed on markets.

Investors continue monitoring corporate earnings and financial updates. Microsoft rose 0.3%, recovering from an early slide, after cutting its financial forecasts for the current quarter. The software pioneer cited unfavorable changes in exchange rates. Online pet store Chewy surged 22.5% after reporting strong earnings.

___

Veiga reported from Los Angeles.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
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