Wall Street rises as Syria fears ease; healthcare stocks jump

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 17, 2018

The gains on Wall Street were broad-based as investors appeared to shift focus to the US earnings season in which corporate tax cut benefits are expected to be a highlight.

"The catalyst had been the concern about trade issues, which is calming down. The bombing in Syria looks to be an event rather than an ongoing thing and it was a coalition", said Jeffrey Carbone, managing partner, Cornerstone Wealth, in Huntersville, North Carolina.

The S&P 500's technology sector was the biggest boost to the benchmark on a weighted basis, with a 0.7-percent increase, followed by the healthcare index which rose 0.8 percent.

In 3.10pm trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.8 percent.

Stocks climbed before the speech, boosted by positive earnings and a positive economic data. Microsoft Corp was the biggest positive contributor with a 1.2 percent gain, on a weighted basis. Acacia fell 34.4 percent, compared with a 13-percent drop for Oclaro.

"Strong client activity, coupled with a growing global economy and solid United States consumer activity, led to record quarterly earnings", Brian Moynihan, Bank of America's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Hedge fund Elliott Advisors has become the second activist investor to call for Whitbread to split its hotel and coffee shop businesses after emerging as the largest shareholder in the British company, Reuters reported.

The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 68 new highs and 36 new lows.

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