Wall Street starts higher as Vertex Pharmaceuticals surges



  • US benchmarks head higher



  • Oil stocks higher



  • ECB in focus


US stocks  were heading higher into the close, buoyed by the oil price and biotech shares.


Traders in the US have been digesting a clutch of  second quarter earnings, including from big investment bank ().


Its shares rose 3.39% to $46.70 as Wall Street cheered the revenue and earnings beat.


The Dow Jones added 47 at 21,621, while the S&P 500 gained 11 at 2,472 and the Nasdaq added 38 at 6,383.


US crude – West Texas Intermediate – added 1.51% to $47.10.


In Toronto, the largest index, the TSX Composite, gained 105 points at 15,254.


 


MID-SESSION


US benchmarks climbed to new highs on Wednesday as tech stocks and energy shares did well.


US crude added almost 1.5% to stand at $47.09 a barrel


The broad based S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite Index added to Tuesday’s record high, with the former up 11 points at 2,471 at mid-session and the latter 41 points ahead to stand at 6,385.


The Dow Jones Industrial Index added 45 to 21,619.


 


Earlier in London, FTSE 100 closed around 40 points higher at 7,430 as UK housebuilding firms gained.


 


Investors will be closely watching Europe’s central bank tomorrow as it makes a decision on interest rates. It will be closely watched as a possible indication on the fate of easy monetary policies from Central Banks that have helped stoke equity markets to record highs.


Speaking of equities, Exponent Inc (NASDAQ: EXPO) gained nearly 15% to $67.45 as the company posted upbeat second quarter numbers and raised its full year outlook.


In oil, Corp () added 0.40% to $104.10, while Marathon Oil Corp () gained 4.79% to $12.24.


READ THE LONDON CLOSE – FTSE 100 finishes over 40 points ahead with housebuilders in support


OPEN


US stocks are on the rise at the open, building on gains yesterday and as oil firmed.


The Dow Jones gained over 13 at 21,587.


The broader based S&P 500 is up 5.62 at 2,466, while the tech heavy Nasdaq added 21 at 6,365.


US crude (West Texas Intermediate) is up 0.6% to $46.68 a barrel.


In Toronto, the TSX started around 31 higher- at 15,181.


In London, FTSE 100 added over 46 at 7,436.


The pound is holding steady against the euro and the dollar at the moment ahead of tomorrow’s ECB’s monthly policy meeting.


Sterling is up 0.12% versus the euro to €1.13, while it is fairly flat against the greenback at a shade over US$1.30.


When Mario Draghi takes to the stage tomorrow, analysts are widely expecting an end to the ECB’s stimulus programme when it announces its latest monetary policy decision.


In US companies, , Inc () added almost 17% as it emerged Inc (NYSE: DISCA), up over 5% , is in talks to merge with the latter, according to sources as reported by the Wall Street Journal.


() shares are up 2.59% to  $46.32 as it posted second quarter earnings, which soundly topped expectations.


Incorporated () added over 23% to $163.40 thanks to positive studies for a cystic fibrosis drug.


In a statement, after Tuesday’s market close, the drug maker released an update on Phase 1 and Phase 2 data from a study which showed an improvement in lung function in certain patients.


A further mid-stage study is due to start in August, and more data will be due in early 2018.

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