H&W in the Media

Stocks Hold Modest Gains as Oil Closes 6% Higher


NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Stocks held onto modest gains late Wednesday afternoon after crude oil closed nearly 6% higher.

The S&P 500 was up 0.64%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.63%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.31%.

Crude moved higher after crude supplies dropped by 2.1 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 11, according to the Energy Information Administration. Economists had expected weekly inventories to drop by 200,000 barrels. West Texas Intermediate crude added 5.7% to $47.15 a barrel.

The energy sector was the best performer on markets. Among the major oilers, Exxon Mobil (XOM – Get Report) , PetroChina (PTR – Get Report) , Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A – Get Report) , Total (TOT – Get Report) and Chevron (CVX – Get Report) were all higher. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) added 2.1%.

Investors await Thursday’s decision from the Federal Reserve on interest rates. Fed members could decide to hike rates for the first time in nearly a decade at their two-day September meeting which ends Thursday. Economists are torn as to whether the Fed will raise rates. On one side of the argument, economists said recent domestic economic strength warrants liftoff from crises-level rates. On the other, recent global market turmoil could give the Fed pause in tinkering with monetary policy.

“I’m still in the camp that they’re going to start, it’s going to be a 25-basis point initial hike and then it’s going to be a wait-and-see approach in the Fed to see how the global economy, the U.S. economy and markets react to that,” argued Kevin Mahn of Hennion & Walsh Asset Management.

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