US Stocks Gain Steam as Rising Oil Price Propels Commodity Stocks Forward – Nasdaq

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US stocks were trading higher at mid-day on Monday with oil production companies among the main beneficiaries of a jump in the price of crude oil which helped to offset negative sentiment from underwhelming manufacturing and house building data.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, the main US oil benchmark, were trading 3.1% higher at $47.66 per barrel at the time of writing after Bloomberg reported that investment bank Goldman Sachs had raised its short-term oil-price forecast as the supply glut in the market disappeared.

Separate data showed that the Empire State manufacturing index slid to negative 9.02 in May from positive 9.56 the month prior, falling short of estimates for a decline to positive 7.0. The National Association of Home Builders Sentiment Index posted a reading of 58 in May versus an expected 59, marking the fourth consecutive month for which the index has remained unchanged.

In equities, oil majors BHP Billiton ( BBL ), Chevron ( CVX ) and Schlumberger ( SLB ) were 3.1% 1.3% and 2.2% higher, respectively. Apple ( AAPL ) was 3.7% higher following news that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) bought 9.8 million shares of the technology giant.

In corporate news, shares in news and information company Gannett ( GCI ) were 1.5% higher after it upped its bid for Tribune (TPUB), a media and entertainment business, by $2.75 per share to $15.00. Luminex (LMNX), a manufacturer of biological testing technologies, was 4.0% higher after saying that it would pay $1.35 per share of Nanosphere (NSPH), a manufacturer of a molecular diagnostics platform.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer (PFE) was 0.3% higher after saying it would acquire Anacor Pharmaceuticals (ANAC) for $99.25 per share, and oil and gas exploration company Range Resources (RRC) was 7.4% lower after saying that it is paying $4.4 billion in stock for natural gas and oil company Memorial Resource Development (MRD).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading 0.86% higher, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up by 0.85% and the Nasdaq is 1.10% higher

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