US Stocks Edge Higher In Early Trade

U.S. Stock Indexes Morning Trading Oil

U.S. Stock Indexes Morning Trading Oil

The Nasdaq composite added 52 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,245.

Global stock markets were shored up Thursday by suggestions from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that the central bank may slow the pace of its interest rate increases if inflation remains relatively subdued.

Stocks edged higher in range-bound trading, as the financial and tech sectors helped lift the Dow to another record close.

The large-cap S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) advanced 0.7% to 2,443.25, its highest settlement in a month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20.95 points, or 0.10%, to 21553.09. Yellen cited a number of encouraging factors, including strong job gains and rising household wealth that she said should drive economic growth over the next two years.

Home Depot shares were among the biggest winners, rising 1.4%. Mall owner Simon Property Group climbed $2.65, or 1.7 percent, to $156.59.

Target Corp rose 4.8 percent after an upbeat second-quarter forecast. The stock added $3.23 to $19.53.

The Beige Book also said prices continued to rise modestly in the majority of districts, although a few districts noted that price pressures had eased slightly.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 31 cents to $45.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In Europe, the CAC 40 in France was up 0.5 percent at 5,249 while Germany's DAX rose 0.1 percent to 12,632.

Analysts estimate second-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies rose 7.8 percent from a year ago, with financials projected to have had the third-best profit growth among sectors, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

He added, "It makes a lot more sense to wait and absorb another couple of months' worth of data, before providing a stronger steer to the markets around the time of the Jackson Hole conference".

CURRENCIES: The euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.14 while the dollar was down 0.1 percent at 113.09 yen.

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