FILE - In this Wednesday, July 8, 2015, file photo, Federal Hall's George Washington statue stands near the flag-covered pillars of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, recouping some of the market’s losses from a day earlier. Banks and energy companies were driving the gains. Airlines, cruise ship operators and travel booking companies were down amid concerns that Hurricane Irma could strike the United States later this week. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

US stock indexes veer higher in afternoon trading; oil up

September 06, 2017 - 2:48 pm

U.S. stocks moved higher in late-afternoon trading Wednesday, on course to recover some of the market's hefty losses from the day before. Energy companies led the gainers, climbing as the price of crude oil rose. Gains by health care companies and several big retailers also helped lift the market. Some travel booking companies and airlines were down as investors monitored Hurricane Irma, which was projected to possibly strike Florida by the weekend.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,464 as of 12:50 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 68 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,821. The Nasdaq composite fell 7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,382. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped less than 1 point to 1,399.

THE QUOTE: "It's a little bit of a rebound from the sort of dramatic day yesterday after everybody got back from the long holiday weekend at the end of the summer and refocused on the market," said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA Research. "We've seen that through the past year, any time we've had some sort of dip, it's a buying opportunity for investors."

IRMA THREATENS: Investors were monitoring Hurricane Irma, which made its first landfall in the islands of the northeast Caribbean early Wednesday. The Category 5 storm, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded, is forecast to churn along a path pointing to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida this weekend.

HURRICANE TRADES: Newell Brands slumped 3.7 percent after the consumer products maker cut its profit forecast because of Hurricane Harvey. The company noted that almost all of its resin suppliers with facilities in Texas and Louisiana shut down after that storm hit. Newell's shares gave up $1.80 to $46.93. United Continental was down 1.7 percent after the airline cut its third-quarter outlook, citing increased fuel costs due to Harvey. The stock fell $1.06 to $60.04.

TRAVEL SLUMP: Travel booking portal Trivago tumbled 19.4 percent after the company cut its profit and revenue guidance. The stock lost $2.90 to $12.03. Rivals Expedia and TripAdvisor also fell. Expedia was down $3.14, or 2.1 percent, to $144.47, while TripAdvisor shed 29 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $44.26.

BRANDS SHIFT: Gap shares surged 7.7 percent after the apparel retailer said it will shift its focus to its growing brands Old Navy and Athleta, and away from the Gap and Banana Republic. The company said that it will close about 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores in the next three years and open about 270 Old Navy and Athleta stores during the same period. The stock added $1.86 to $25.89. Macy's share also got a boost, adding $1.16, or 5.5 percent, to $22.17.

CAN'T BEAT 'EM: Kohl's climbed 5 percent after the department store chain said it will open Amazon shops in 10 of its stores. The announcement follows a similar move by Sears. Kohl's shares gained $2.01 to $42.40.

HIGH ENERGY: Several energy companies moved higher as the price of crude oil rose. Helmerich & Payne rose $2.71, or 6.2 percent, to $46.48. Marathon Oil added 47 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $11.76.

BONDS: Bond prices edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.10 percent from 2.06 percent late Tuesday.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 50 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $49.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 82 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $54.20 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline dipped 3 cents to $1.67 a gallon. Heating oil rose a penny to $1.76 a gallon. Natural added 3 cents to $3 per 1,000 cubic feet.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.37 yen from 108.66 yen Tuesday. The euro fell to $1.1913 from $1.1918.

METALS: Gold fell $5.50 to $1,339 an ounce. Silver shed 3 cents to $17.91 an ounce, while copper gained 2 cents to $3.15 a pound.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Global stock markets were mixed. In Europe, Germany's DAX gained 0.7 percent, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 0.3 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1 percent and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.5 percent.

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