Boeing's stock set to add 120 points to Dow industrials

Boeing accounted for 94% of the Dow index's rise today

Wall Street stocks finished modestly higher Wednesday as optimism about strong earnings and upbeat economic data was offset somewhat by concerns about U.S. monetary policy.

However, stronger-than-expected private sector job data for January and pending home sales data for December renewed investor optimism and helped indices close in green for the first time in the week. The S&P 500 healthcare index fell 1.5%.

Technology companies also fell.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 4.88 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,579.87.

Technology companies were leading stocks broadly lower in early trading, extending the market's slide into a second day.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term volatility for the S&P 500 Index rose more than four points to 17.86, its highest since November 2016.

Investors continued to sift a raft of corporate earnings reports Thursday. The Nasdaq increased 16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,427.




One bright spot was Amazon, which rose 6.3 percent after the online retailer reported a record profit of near $2 billion due to strong sales and tax law changes. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices added 72 cents, or 5.6 percent, to $13.59, while Electronic Arts rose $11.58, or 9.8 percent, to $130.28.

Still, "the movement in stocks since the beginning of the year has been remarkable", she added.

FUDGED IT: Hershey shares fell 5.4 percent after the company's latest quarterly results fell short of Wall Street's expectations. The stock, which has been the biggest gainer in the Dow over the past year, added $19.75 to $357.46.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 55 cents to $65.28 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp shares were down 5.1 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively, after the oil companies posted lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit. Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 16 cents to $68.36 in London. Average hourly earnings rose and boosted the year-on-year increase to 2.9 percent, the largest rise since June 2009.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. Check Point Software (CHKP) took the hardest early hit among Nasdaq 100 stocks, down more than 3% after a mixed fourth-quarter performance. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dipped 0.1 percent to 32,843.20 and China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9 percent to 3,449.93. Japan's Nikkei ended down 0.8% as the yen strengthened against the dollar. Facebook (FB) led the group, up 1.1% in premarket trade, as the stock continues to linger in its buy range above a 184.35 buy point.

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