New York markets higher at midday
Falling crude oil prices and gains in the retail and homebuilding sectors helped the New York equities markets to gains by the middle of the day on Wednesday after two days of losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had climbed 0.6 percent to 11,065.27, while the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.9 percent to 2,181.50 and the S&P 500 was up 0.6 percent to 1,271.15.
The pharmaceuticals sector was up after GlaxoSmithKline said it was considering purchasing Pfizer’s consumer unit if the right price could be reached. This sent shares in Pfizer up 1.1 percent to $24.11. In addition, Abbott Labs gained 1.9 percent to $43.05.
Retailers were up, led by a 3.6 percent gain to $49.31 for Target. In supermarkets, Kroger added 1.9 percent to $20.13, while Supervalu gained 2 percent to $29.39.
After a dismal day on Tuesday, homebuilders were up on the day. DR Horton gained 1.5 percent to $23.75. Pulte, meanwhile, was up 1.9 percent to $28.65.
The chemicals sector was not so fortunate after Deutsche Bank issued downgrades to Dupont and Dow Chemical. Dow was down 0.5 percent to $39.37 and Dupont lost 1.3 percent to $41.64.
While the drop in crude oil prices helped investor sentiment, it did not help the energy sector. Schlumberger and Occidental Petroleum each had lost 1.8 percent by mid-session, to $62.79 and $96.03 respectively.
In much the same way, falling commodities prices sent shares in companies dealing in metals downward. Alcoa was down 2.4 percent to $29.97, while Freeport McMoran dropped 3 percent to $51.22.