Energy stocks gain on oil boost; Dow set to snap losing skid

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced on Friday, with the Dow poised to end an eight-day losing streak, as a jump in oil prices lifted energy stocks, but losses in technology stocks kept the Nasdaq in check.

U.S. crude CLcv1 rose 4.68 percent to $68.61 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $75.37, up 3.18 percent after oil producers agreed to modest crude output increases to compensate for losses in production at a time of rising global demand.

Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) rose 2.2 percent and Chevron (CVX.N) gained 2.3 percent, as the two biggest boosts to the S&P. The S&P energy .SPNY index was up 2.4 percent, putting the sector on track for its best day in June.

A rally in oil prices due to an earlier OPEC decision to restrict supply in an effort to drain global inventories has given the sector a gain of more than 7 percent over the past three months, best among the eleven major S&P groups.

“A lot of people feel this market is oversold. Investors have been focused on the tariffs,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 168.5 points, or 0.69 percent, to 24,630.2, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 11.12 points, or 0.40 percent, to 2,760.88 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 10.24 points, or 0.13 percent, to 7,702.71.

Trade worries still loomed, however, as U.S. President Donald Trump, in his latest move, threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all European Union car imports. The announcement came a month after the administration launched a probe into whether auto imports pose a threat to national security.

Harley-Davidson (HOG.N) fell 2.1 percent. The U.S. bike maker has in the past warned of a “significant impact” on its sales if the European Union decides to increase duties on motorcycles in retaliation. The S&P autos & components index .SPLRCAU dipped 0.2 percent.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

This adds to worries about the China-U.S. trade spat which escalated earlier this week after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports and Beijing vowed to retaliate.

Leading the decliners among tech was open source software provider Red Hat Inc (RHT.N), which tumbled 12.4 percent after its current-quarter and full-year revenue missed analysts’ estimates due to a strengthening dollar.

Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) 0.91 percent decline and Nvidia’s (NVDA.O) 2.15 percent fall also weighed.

The trade spat has pushed the Dow Jones index lower for the past eight sessions as big industrial companies such as Boeing (BA.N) and Caterpillar (CAT.N) have weighed on the index and put it on pace for its worst weekly performance in 13 weeks.

Friday is expected to see a surge of volume into the close ahead of FTSE Russell’s final reconstitution of its indexes after the market close, likely to result in the biggest trading day of the year. nL1N1TM0SS]

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.87-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.15-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 80 new highs and 36 new lows.

Additional reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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