Gains for health care and retail sectors send stocks higher – New Orleans CityBusiness

U.S. stocks are rising Wednesday morning as retailers including Urban Outfitters and Target climb. That’s helping retailers recover some of the sharp losses they took a day earlier. Health care companies and banks are also trading higher. Energy companies are lagging the rest of the market.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,470 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 65 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,064. The Nasdaq composite gained 9 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,342. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies jumped 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,387.

URBAN OUTFITTERS STEPS OUT: Clothing and accessories retailer Urban Outfitters had a better second quarter than Wall Street expected, and analysts said there are some signs the company’s business is recovering after years of struggles. The stock rose $3.94, or 23.4 percent, to $20.76 Wednesday. Even with those gains, it’s down more than 20 percent this year. Recently the stock has traded at eight-year lows, far below its price of $40 a share in mid-2015.

Target also gained 58 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $54.93. The company raised its annual estimates after it did better than analysts expected in the second quarter.

RETAIL RALLY: Many other store chains rose. Gap climbed 66 cents, or 3 percent, to $22.73. Express added 26 cents, or 4.8 percent, to $5.84. Retailers struggled a day earlier after poor results and lower forecasts from Dick’s Sporting Goods and Advance Auto Parts. The S&P 500 index of retailers climbed 1.1 percent Wednesday after a 2.3 percent plunge the day before.

EARLY LEADERS: Scientific instrument maker Agilent Technologies advanced $2.34, or 3.9 percent, to $61.72 after a strong third-quarter report. Health care products giant Johnson & Johnson edged up 86 cents to $134.24 and drugmaker Biogen climbed $3.83, or 1.3 percent, to $291.75. Banks rose as well. Wells Fargo gained 23 cents to $53.08 and insurer Progressive added $1.12, or 2.4 percent, to $48.71. Consumer credit company Synchrony Financial rose 39 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $31.38.

FED OUTLOOK: The Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its latest policy meeting on Wednesday. Investors will be looking for clues about its plans for interest rates and letting its balance sheet shrink.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 13 cents to $47.68 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 25 cents to $51.05 a barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices dipped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.28 percent from 2.27 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 110.77 yen from 110.58 yen. The euro declined to $1.1700 from $1.1734.

OVERSEAS: France’s CAC 40 rose 1.1 percent and Germany’s DAX advanced 0.9 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent after new data showed an encouraging rise in wage growth. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 retreated 0.1 percent while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.9 percent. The South Korean Kospi advanced 0.6 percent.

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