Wall St rises; Boeing up despite US grounding of 737 MAX jets

US stocks rose on Wednesday, led by gains in healthcare shares, and Boeing edged upward even as the United States joined other nations in grounding the company’s 737 MAX jets.

Boeing Co shares ended up 0.5 per cent at $377.14, recovering from a more than 3 per cent fall in the afternoon, when the United States announced it was grounding Boeing’s 737 MAX jets following Sunday’s fatal crash in Ethiopia.

The US Federal Aviation Administration cited new satellite data and evidence from the scene of Sunday’s crash, the second disaster involving the 737 MAX in less than five months.

The grounding gives Boeing time to address any problems and not face another potential disaster, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. “It seems like the worst is over for Boeing,” he said. “The fact that (the stock) appears to be stabilizing means the market appreciates that.”

Boeing shares are still down about 11 per cent since Friday’s close. The world’s largest planemaker had been the best-performing Dow component this year. Also helping stocks Wednesday, fresh economic data strengthened the Federal Reserve’s patient stance on future interest rate hikes.

Producer prices barely rose in February, resulting in the smallest annual increase in more than 1-1/2 years, yet another indication of benign inflation.

CVS Health Corp rose 3.5 per cent after Bernstein started coverage of the pharmacy benefit manager with an ”outperform” rating. The S&P 500 healthcare index rose 1.1 per cent. UnitedHealth Group shares rose 2.6 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 148.23 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 25,702.89, the S&P 500 gained 19.4 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 2,810.92 and the Nasdaq Composite added 52.37 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 7,643.41. Energy shares rose as oil prices rallied about 2

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