US Stocks Inch Higher on Oil Gains, Dollar Weakness

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US Stocks Inch Higher on Oil Gains, Dollar Weakness

US stocks inched higher at the beginning of trading to add onto the strong gains from the previous week bolstered by advances in energy shares, after gains by crude oil and the continued weakness of the dollar against other major currencies.

Energy shares added onto their biggest weekly gain in almost a month as crude prices increased. Exxon Mobil Corp advanced 1% in early trading.

The action on the highly market has highly fluctuated lately to keep track with the dollar as investors focus on the Federal Reserve’s expected rate hike as part of its anticipated monetary policy tightening later this year.

“The market has been in a back-and-forth motion for the last couple of weeks, caught between the potential for rising interest rates and its impact on the dollar and the feeling by investors that the economy is gaining some strength,” Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey, told Reuters.

The S&P 500 Index gained 3.0 points or 0.2% to 2111.79 points at 10.04 am in New York today. The gain was spurred by its energy sector SPNY which advanced 0.7% as Brent rallied to gain 0.9%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 48 points or 0.3% to 18,176.45 points to close within 1% of its record close achieved earlier this month.

The Nasdaq Composite slipped 7 points 0.2% from its 15-year high close on Friday but also still remains 1% within its record close.

“With nothing material coming out of Europe and Asia, I would expect some pause,” Michael James, a Los Angeles-based managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities Inc., told Bloomberg in a phone interview.

“I don’t see any reason to think we need to take another leg up to start the week today. The market is going to remain in a trading range, and we’re in the upper band right now.”

To contact the reporter of the story: Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com