Stocks rise despite drop in oil; China slides 6%

February 26 02:37 2016

U.S. stocks shrugged off a sell-off in Shanghai and were slightly higher Thursday as Wall Street looks to build on yesterday’s big rebound rally that wiped out big losses and allowed stocks to finish the day up. Despite a 6.4% drop in shares that trade in mainland China, the Dow Jones industrial average was up about 30 points, or 0.2%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite index added 0.1%.AP FINANCIAL MARKETS WALL STREET F FILE USA NY

On Wednesday, the Dow enjoyed a massive intraday-reversal, turning an early loss of nearly 266 points into a closing gain of 53.21 points to 16,484.99. The reversal that led to the closing gain was the best since 2008, according to CNBC. The rebound yesterday coincided with a turnaround in oil prices, as the movement of stocks remains tightly correlated to trading in the energy patch. Stocks advanced despite the sell-off in China, which was sparked by liquidity fears and continued worries over slowing growth in China. The gains came despite a 2% drop in the price of U.S.-produced crude as a barrel of West Texas Intermediate was down 65 cents to $31.50.

The U.S. stock market is still trying to build on its recent recovery after the worst start to a year in Wall Street history. Investors are weighing a wide host of market drivers and risks, including slowing global growth, a profits recession in the U.S., continued volatility in the energy space and ongoing angst regarding the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy. Wall Street was also digesting mixed economic data. The latest reading on first-time jobless claims rose 10,000 to 272,000. But January durable goods orders for long-lasting big-ticket items like refrigerators and dishwashers rose a better-than-expected 4.9%.

Since the recent stock market low on Feb. 11, U.S. stocks have stabilized. Wall Street is trying to decipher if the latest rally is a head fake or the start of a more sustainable uptrend. Stocks in Europe were also shrugging off the stock market weakness in China. The broad Stoxx Europe 600 was 1.9% higher and the German DAX was up 1.6% and the CAC 40 in Paris was 2.3% higher.