US stocks edge higher as oil shares fall

Business A street sign for Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo/File Photo) 31 May 2019 04:39AM(Updated: 31 May 2019 04:40AM) Share this content

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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks eked out modest gains on Thursday (May 30) after two straight declines, even as petroleum-linked shares tumbled with oil prices.

Analysts said shares had been oversold during a weak May due to rising trade tensions and a drop in US Treasury bond yields that is seen as a harbinger of economic weakness.

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Stocks again bobbled into negative territory at times on Thursday but the Dow Jones Industrial Average mustered a 43.47-point (0.17 per cent) gain, rising to 25,169.88.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 5.84 points (0.21 per cent) at 2,788.86, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 20.41 points (0.27 per cent) to 7,567.72.

In the latest step in the protracted trade war, Chinese state media continued to ramp up criticism of the United States, and Chinese authorities reportedly suspended state purchases of American soybeans.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained pressured, a sign of strong investor demand for bonds and skittishness towards stocks.

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“US stocks are higher in afternoon action following two days of solid declines but the festering US-China trade uncertainty and resurfacing global growth fears that have pressured the markets and Treasury yields as of late are keeping a lid on the gains,” said a note from Charles Schwab.

Petroleum-linked shares suffered after a bearish US oil inventory report prompted a drop in oil prices. Chevron fell 1.2 per cent, Halliburton 3.7 per cent and ConocoPhillips 2.0 per cent.

Occidental Petroleum dipped 0.2 per cent after longtime investor activist Carl Icahn sued the company following

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