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Overnight Markets: Oil fuels Dow Jones, S&P 500 rally

Alphabet shares tumbled 4% and the company moved back below Apple in market capitalisation.

Overnight Markets: Oil fuels Dow Jones, S&P 500 rally

Wall Street staged a late-day rally to end higher on Wednesday as an 8% jump in oil prices lifted energy and materials companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 183 points, or 1.13%, to 16,337, the S&P 500 gained 10 points, or 0.5%, to 1,913 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13 points, or 0.28%, to 4,504.

The S&P’s energy and materials sector indexes gained 4% and 3.3%, respectively, as oil prices surged. US crude futures gained 8% to settle at $32.28 a barrel. The US dollar posted its biggest declines in months against the euro and the yen amid worries about weak economic growth.

Chesapeake Energy was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding 12%, but shares are down 84% over the past year. Miner Freeport-McMoRan rose more than 11%, while shares are down nearly 75% over the past 12 months.

Stocks' late-day rally reversed sharp losses in morning trading. US data showed the economy's service sector expanded at a slower-than-expected rate, raising concerns that weakness in manufacturing was spreading to other areas of the economy.

In other economic news, ADP data showed private employers added more jobs than expected in January. The data comes ahead of the government's more comprehensive employment report on Friday.

Alphabet (GOOGL.O) shares tumbled 4% and the company moved back below Apple (AAPL.O) in market capitalisation. Apple, the world's most valuable company, rose 2%.

Other high-flying tech names that fell on Wednesday included Amazon (AMZN.O), down 3.8%.

The dollar's decline may have eased worries about the impact of dollar strength on US multinationals' earnings. Shares of 3M Co. (MMM.N), up 3.1%, led gains in the Dow.

After the bell, CBS Corp (CBS.N) said media mogul Sumner Redstone had resigned as executive chairman. Shares of Viacom Inc (VIAB.O), where Redstone is also chairman, shot up 10.6%. CBS shares also were up.

In Asia, most shares traded up on Thursday in morning trade, following a mostly higher finish on Wall Street overnight.

Australia's ASX 200 traded higher by 1.61%, Japan's Nikkei 225 extended losses to trade 0.16% lower, but off early lows. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi was up 0.94%.

Chinese markets opened the session in positive territory, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gaining 1.79%. The Shanghai composite was up 1.03%.

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Investment Trust Watch: the hidden gem in UK Income

by Gavin Lumsden on Oct 21, 2016 at 17:18

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