Wall Street edges up; financials on track to snap losing streak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were higher in afternoon trading on Tuesday and financials looked set to snap a five-day losing streak as Treasury yields mostly stabilized following recent losses.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The S&P energy index was up 1 percent, leading percentage gains among sectors, as oil prices rose on OPEC supply cuts and expectations of lower U.S. inventories.

The S&P 500 financial index gained 0.5 percent after five straight sessions of losses. Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were mostly steady after recent losses.

The stock market’s gains came after two sessions of declines, triggered by fears of slowing global economic growth and recession worries following the inversion of a closely watched part of the Treasury yield curve.

“When the yield curve dips for a day or two, that’s usually a false signal. It’s when it inverts and stays inverted, it becomes more worrisome,” said Russell Price, chief economist at Ameriprise Financial in Troy, Michigan.

Apple Inc shares were down 0.6 percent, reversing earlier gains. On Monday, the iPhone maker unveiled its video streaming service, a credit card and an online gaming arcade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 78.39 points, or 0.31 percent, to 25,595.22, the S&P 500 gained 11.57 points, or 0.41 percent, to 2,809.93 and the Nasdaq Composite added 29.42 points, or 0.39 percent, to 7,666.96.

Investors also digested weak consumer confidence numbers for March, as well as housing data that showed U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in February.

Carnival Corp tumbled 9.6 percent after the world’s largest cruise operator cut its annual profit forecast.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.23-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.77-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 37 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 38 new highs and 33 new lows.

Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York, Shreyashi Sanyal and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler

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