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Overnight Markets: US stocks end higher after late rally

Energy and biotech shares help Wall Street gain, as oil market continues to dominate investor sentiment.

Overnight Markets: US stocks end higher after late rally

Wall Street ended Tuesday’s session with solid gains, helped by a late rebound in energy and biotech shares, as oil market continues to dominate investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 118 points, or 0.72%, to 16,516, the S&P 500 gained 15 points, or 0.78%, to 1,939 and the Nasdaq Composite added 48 points, or 1.03%, to 4,686.

Crude oil prices ended lower after another roller-coaster session, but the S&P 500 energy index reversed course to end up 0.4%, while shares of Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) jumped 2% and Chevron (CVX.N) rose 1.7%.

Apple (AAPL.O) ended up 1.5% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts upgraded their rating on the stock, while Intel (INTC.O) rose 1.9% after JP Morgan gave upbeat comments on the stock.

Shares of Alcoa (AA.N) dropped 9%, a day after it posted a quarterly net loss.

Health insurer Anthem Inc (ANTM.N) finished up 5.6% after it gave a profit forecast. It boosted shares of other health insurers, including UnitedHealth (UNH.N), which gained 2.4%.

After the bell, shares of Ford Motor (F.N) fell 3.1% after it forecast results, while MetLife (MET.N) gained 7.6% after it said it plans to separate a substantial portion of its US retail business.

In economic news, Labour’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed 5.43 million job openings, up from 5.34 million in October.

Investors will be turning attention to corporate earnings, after Alcoa unofficially kicked off earnings season yesterday. JP Morgan Chase & Co., Intel and Citigroup Inc. are among companies scheduled to post their quarterly results this week.

Major Asian markets climb

In Asia, most shares saw a rebound on Wednesday in morning session, showing signs of stabilising, despite lingering headwinds over China and lower commodity prices.

Chinese markets opened in positive territory, expanding on previous session's gains, with the Shanghai Composite up 0.74%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 2.58%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 recovered much of Tuesday's 2.71% drop, trading up 2.57%, while South Korea's Kospi saw gains of 1.48%. Australia’s ASX 200 was trading 1.04% higher.

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