Strong US data lifts stocks but oil shares fall

A trader works inside a post as a screen shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the close of trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
A trader works inside a post as a screen shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the close of trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks rebounded modestly Tuesday (Nov 29) as strong US economic data compensated for a drop in oil prices that hit petroleum-linked equities.

US data showed stronger-than-expected third quarter growth, higher housing prices in September and a sharp rebound in consumer confidence in November.

But energy companies such as ExxonMobil and Chevron pulled back as US oil prices slumped nearly four percent ahead of a closely-watched meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 percent to 19,121.60.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent to 2,204.66, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2 percent to 5,379.92.

Banking shares, which have been strong in expectation of higher interest rates and more favorable policies out of Washington, continued to rise. JPMorgan Chase climbed 0.8 percent and Goldman Sachs 1.0 percent.

Pharmaceutical stocks were also upward bound, with Pfizer adding 1.2 percent, Merck 0.7 percent and Celgene 1.5 percent.

Tiffany jumped 3.1 percent after the jewelry company reported a 4.5 percent increase in third quarter net income to US$95.1 million.

Dow member UnitedHealth Group advanced 3.6 percent after projecting 2017 adjusted earnings would come in at US$9.30 to US$9.60 a share, up from the 2016 level, which is expected to be US$8.00 a share.