Gains in energy and internet companies helped drive stocks broadly higher on Wall Street on Thursday, snapping a two-day losing streak for the market in an otherwise choppy week of trading.
The gains were initially fueled by rising oil prices, which boosted energy companies following a suspected attack on two oil tankers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The sector sustained its gains as a mix of media, internet and consumer-oriented companies took the lead in pushing every major index higher. Small company stocks rose more than the rest of the market.
Investors have been searching for direction as they cautiously await any new developments on the global trade war between the U.S. and China. Any continued escalations could crimp global economic growth and put the brakes on what is poised to be the longest economic expansion in U.S. history.
The S&P 500 index rose 11.80 points, or 0.4%, to 2,891.64. The benchmark index has been seesawing this week, opening strong on Monday, and then falling for two straight days before reversing course again on Thursday. The uneven week follows the index’s best week of 2019.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 101.94 points, or 0.4%, to 26,106.77. The Nasdaq composite added 44.41 points, or 0.6%, to 7,837.13. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks climbed 16.01 points, or 1.1%, to 1,535.80.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.10% from 2.12% late Wednesday.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose 2.2% to settle at $52.28 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, added 2.2% to close at $61.31 a barrel.