Wall Street holds onto gains after China data


By Abhiram Nandakumar

Wall Street rose on Tuesday morning, bouncing off a steep selloff on Friday and as investors were relieved that China’s growth rate did not slow more than expected.

China’s growth in 2015 was the slowest in 25 years, raising hopes of further stimulus measures from Beijing to rebalance a slowing economy that has rattled investors across markets.

Those fears have pushed oil prices below $30 per barrel and raised concerns about the prospects of U.S. companies, for whom China is a key market. The S&P 500 on Friday sank to its lowest since October 2014.

“It’s just a matter of people doing a little bit of bargain hunting,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

“When we have a huge down week like we’ve had and certainly on Friday, which was a big down day, you tend to see a few technical bounces,” he said.

Still oil prices diverged on Tuesday – Brent was up and U.S. crude was down, dragging down the energy and materials stocks.

Bank of America reversed course to trade down 0.6 percent at $14.37 despite beating profit expectations after it expressed concerns about weak oil prices.

Morgan Stanley held its gains, up 2.5 percent at $26.62, after reporting better-than-expected profit.

At 10:57 a.m. ET (1538 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 101.66 points, or 0.64 percent, at 16,089.74.

The S&P 500 was up 11.3 points, or 0.6 percent, at 1,891.63 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 26.60 points, or 0.59 percent, at 4,515.01.

Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 0.92 percent rise in utilities.

UnitedHealth was up 4.2 percent at $113.81, giving the biggest boost to the Dow, after the health insurer reported a 30 percent rise in quarterly revenue.

Tiffany was down nearly 5 percent at $64.50 after the upscale jeweler said holiday season sales fell 6 percent.

IBM and Netflix are scheduled to report results after the close.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,524 to 1,433. On the Nasdaq, 1,383 issues rose and 1,294 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed no new 52-week highs and 27 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded three new highs and 122 lows.

(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)



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