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US Stocks on Pace for Record Day       06/20 09:20

   An early surge on the stock market Thursday put the S&P 500 index on track 
for another record high and erased the market's losses from a brutal sell-off 
in May.





   NEW YORK (AP) -- An early surge on the stock market Thursday put the S&P 500 
index on track for another record high and erased the market's losses from a 
brutal sell-off in May.

   The S&P 500 rose 1% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time and was slightly above the 
record close it reached April 30. The index has now wiped out its losses from 
May, when growing economic jitters prompted a 6.6% dive.

   Technology stocks were the biggest gainers in a sign that investors are in a 
bullish mood and hungry for riskier holdings. Oracle rose 6.5% after it 
reported solid financial results. Microsoft gained 1.1%. Health care and 
industrial stocks also rose.

   Every major sector gained ground and an overwhelming majority of companies 
trading on the New York Stock Exchange moved higher. Safe-play stocks like 
utilities lagged the market.

   The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9%, or 247 points, to 26,750. Big 
gains for Boeing, UnitedHealth Group, and Visa helped drive the 30-stock index 
higher. The technology-heavy Nasdaq rose 1%.

   The market has been moving higher all week as investors became more hopeful 
that the U.S. and China could eventually resolve their damaging trade war and 
that the Federal Reserve stands ready to stabilize economic growth. The leaders 
of the U.S. and China are meeting next on trade.

   The Federal Reserve on Wednesday reaffirmed its position that it is prepared 
to cut interest rates if trade conflicts or other factors threaten economic 
growth. It left its benchmark interest rate unchanged but investors are betting 
on at least one interest rate cut this year.

   Oil prices surged 4.4% after tensions between the U.S. and Iran tightened 
and raised fears that oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz could be 
compromised. Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it shot down a U.S. drone on 
Thursday over Iranian airspace. The drone shooting follows last week's attack 
on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman.

   Cruise line operators were among the few losers in the early going after 
Carnival slashed its profit forecast for the year. It cited technical issues 
with its Vista ship. It also cited a ban on U.S. cruises to Cuban ports and an 
economic slowdown in Europe, which both have broader implications for the 
sector. Carnival sank 8.7%, Royal Caribbean fell 1.9% and Norwegian fell 1.7%. 


(CZ)

 
 
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