Investing.com – Wall Street struggled to pull back into positive territory for the week on Wednesday after the previous session’s decline, buoyed by a small sample of positive earnings reports while oil maintained gains after a mixed report on U.S. crude inventories.
At 12:09PM ET (16:09GMT), the Dow Jones advanced 157 points, or 0.74%, the S&P 500 gained 19 points, or 0.80%, while the Nasdaq Composite traded up 57 points, or 0.93%.
The blue-chip index had already covered from Tuesday’s losses and was up 0.2% so far this week, while the global stock benchmark was unchanged since last Friday.
However, despite the Nasdaq’s rebound on Wednesday, trying to avoid a three-day losing, the tech index was still off 0.6% from the end of last week, fighting to avoid its first down month since October.
Some positive earnings helped to buoy buying sentiment on Wednesday
Shares in S&P components General Mills (NYSE:GIS) and Monsanto (NYSE:MON) rose around 2% and 1%, respectively, after reporting better-than-expected earnings, though Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) put a damper on sentiment with losses of more than 2% as the firm presented a lower-than-expected guidance.
With markets waiting for the unofficial kickoff of second-quarter earnings season, the 16 S&P components that have reported so far have shown 75% beating on profit estimates with 9.3% growth and 88% topping consensus on sales with growth of 8.7%, according to The Earnings Scout.
Despite the initial positive start, these experts warned that it won’t continue and repeated their call that earnings-per-share had topped in the first quarter.
On the economic front, pending home sales unexpectedly declined in May, though the report insisted that buying interest was solid and that the weakness was to due to a lack of supply.
The dollar continued to drop and reached a fresh eight-month low against the other major currencies on Wednesday, after the release of the data and as U.S. political concerns continued to weigh.
The greenback had already weakened broadly after U.S. Senate Republicans postponed a vote on the Trump administration’s healthcare bill on Tuesday, as they faced resistance from party members.
Meanwhile, oil prices moved higher on Wednesday after the publication of mixed inventory data.
Though the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories rose by 118,000 barrels, compared to expectations for a 2.585 million barrel drop, investors appeared to take hear in the fact that gasoline inventories decreased by 894,000 barrels, compared to expectations for a drop of 583,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles including diesel fell by 223,000 barrels when build of 453,000 was forecast.
U.S. crude futures gained 0.88% to $44.63 by 12:14PM ET (16:14GMT), while Brent oil traded up 1.04% to $47.41.