Sarhan in CNBC: Stocks slightly higher as oil rises; transports struggle for gains

Thursday, May 5, 2016 9:45am

U.S. stocks traded higher Thursday as higher oil prices supported a more risk-on tone, ahead of the key employment report due Friday.

“It’s a little bit of a relief rally … oversold bounce,” said Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital.

“You also have a rebound in oil which is very good for sentiment,” he said.

Crude oil futures were up more than 4 percent near $45.70 a barrel as a huge wildfire near Canada’s oil sands and escalating tensions in Libya raised concerns of a near-term supply shortage.

The Dow transports turned lower soon after the open as Matson fell more than 12 percent to lead decliners.

“Today’s an important day because if the market pulls off today hard it will tell you buyers are getting exhausted,” Sarhan said.

In economic news, weekly jobless claims rose to 274,000. Earlier, Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported layoffs by U.S.-based companies accelerated in April, sending year-to-date job cuts to the highest level since 2009.

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The U.S. dollar index tried for a third-straight day of gains, trading nearly 0.4 percent higher with the euro near $1.143 and the yen at 107.03 yen against the greenback as of 9:28 a.m. ET.

The 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields came off session highs. They touched their lowest in at least two weeks on Wednesday.

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Several Fed speakers are also on the calendar for Thursday. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks at 11:50 a.m. ET.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams appears on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” at 1:40 p.m., and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart will be on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” at 3:05 p.m. from the Hoover Institution’s International Monetary Stability Conference. Later in the day, Bullard, Williams, Lockhart are scheduled to join a panel at the conference with Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan.

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In morning trade, the Dow Jones industrial average traded up 41 points, or 0.24 percent, to 17,690, with IBM leading advancers and Merck the greatest laggard.

The S&P 500 gained 5 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,056, with energy leading eight sectors higher and consumer discretionary and telecoms the only decliners.

The Nasdaq composite rose 15 points, or 0.30 percent, to 4,793.

About two stocks declined for every advancer on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 46 million and a composite volume of 126 million.

U.S. crude oil futures for June delivery gained $1.61 to $45.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold futures for June delivery rose $10.80 to $1,285.20 an ounce as of 9:35 a.m. ET.

On tap this week:


Earnings: Alibaba, Merck, Chesapeake Energy, Discovery Communications, Kellogg, Regeneron, MGM Resorts, Scripps Networks Interactive, AMC Networks, Avon Products, Fortress Investment, SeaWorld, Time, Activision Blizzard, Cerner, Motorola Solutions, News Corp., Square, Tableau Software, Dreamworks Animation, El Pollo Loco, FireEye, Herbalife, TrueCar, Wingstop, Yelp

10:30 a.m.: Natural gas inventories

11:50 a.m. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard

7:15 p.m. Atlanta Fed’s Lockhart, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, St. Louis Fed’s Bullard, San Francisco Fed’s Williams at Hoover Conference


Earnings: ArcelorMittal, Cigna, Willis Towers Watson, Madison Square Garden, Berkshire Hathaway

8:30 a.m. Employment report

1 p.m.: Oil rig count

3 p.m.: Consumer credit

*Planner subject to change.


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