Markets Right Now: Tech, banks lead early gains

Oil's slide a day earlier yanked energy stocks lower, which in turn pulled the S&P 500 back from its record high.

The Dow Jones industrial average increased 72 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,457.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 16 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,450. Even a report showing that the amount of supplies in US inventories shrank last week did little to alter the tide.

At 9:43 a.m. ET (1143 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 75.35 points, or 0.35 percent, at 21,459.63, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 11.35 points, or 0.46 percent, at 2,444.50.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 97 cents, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $43.23 per barrel, and Brent crude, the worldwide standard, fell 89 cents to $46.02 per barrel.

The price of crude touched its lowest level of the year Tuesday. Gains for health care and technology stocks helped reduce losses for broader market indexes. The Dow Jones industrial average added 144.71 points, or 0.7 percent, to 21,528.99, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 87.25, or 1.4 percent, to 6,239.01.

The price of oil has been sloshing between $40 and $55 per barrel for much of the past year, down from a peak of more than $110 in the summer of 2013.

USA stock futures were mostly lower in early trade overnight, with Dow futures down 0.07%, S&P 500 futures off 0.12% and Nasdaq futures declining 0.21%. After being up by as much as 1.6 percent earlier in the day, benchmark US crude turned lower and was down $1.06, or 2.4 percent, to $42.4 per barrel. Its customers have been shifting toward higher-priced and more profitable products, such as leather. The move, which will begin next year, will likely cause big shifts of money into mainland Chinese stocks by mutual funds and other investors that track the index.

Winners and Losers: Snapchat parent Snap Inc. climbed 2 percent on news of a $100 million deal with Time Warner to create shows for the platform.

MSCI has been considering including A-shares in its index for years but had demurred until now due to a range of concerns. South Korea's Kospi was little changed, inching down less than 0.1 percent to 2,369.30.

In the commodities markets, gold rose $2.30 to settle at $1,245.80 per ounce, silver slipped 4 cents to $16.37 per ounce and copper added 5 cents to $2.60 per pound.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.17 percent.

The French CAC 40 gained 0.9 percent, and Germany's DAX rose 1.1 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 111.02 yen from Wednesday's 111.37 yen. The euro fell to $1.1147from $1.1195, and the British pound slipped to $1.2728 from $1.2780.

Natural gas sank 14 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.41 per gallon and wholesale gasoline held relatively steady at $1.45 per gallon.

  • Zachary Reyes