Stocks Begin to Rise as Salesforce.com Leads Tech Gains | Technology

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Stocks got off to a higher start on Wall Street on Wednesday, driven by gains at tech companies after a sharp drop in earnings by Salesforce.com. The customer relationship software maker climbed 13% after posting earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts and raised its outlook for the year. Other big tech companies, including Apple and Microsoft, were also up. The S&P 500 rose 0.5%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.5%. Crude oil prices rose 2% and bond yields rose slightly. The 10-year Treasury yield, which helps set mortgage interest rates, hit 2.85%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

US markets edged higher ahead of the opening bell on Wednesday and oil prices resumed an upward trajectory after the European Union blocked most oil imports from Russia this week.

S&P 500 futures gained 0.4% and Dow Jones Industrials futures rose 0.2%.

Global stocks were mixed after Wall Street ended a volatile month of trading that was shaped by rising inflation and interest rates, as well as some anxiety over the possibility of a recession.

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The German DAX gained 0.3%, the CAC 40 in Paris remained unchanged and the British FTSE 100 fell slightly by 0.2% at midday.

Oil prices rebounded after falling nearly $120 a barrel on Tuesday, when prices surged after the European Union agreed to block the majority of oil imports from Russia due to its invasion of the ‘Ukraine.

Prices finally fell on Tuesday on speculation that OPEC and the cartel of oil-producing nations could ease production limits and offset Russia’s loss of oil output. But just hours before U.S. markets opened, benchmark U.S. crude had climbed $1.25 to $115.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It closed down 40 cents at $114.67 on Tuesday.

Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trade, rose $1.52 to $117.12 a barrel.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% to 27,457.89 after Japan’s parliament enacted a $21 billion supplementary budget to deal with soaring fuel and food prices. food following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The supplementary budget, for the current fiscal year which started April 1, will fund part of a $48 billion emergency economic package the government passed in April. It includes subsidies to oil wholesalers to minimize the impact on consumers.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX rose 0.3% to 7,234.00.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4% to 21,323.47 and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1% to 3,182.16. Both indexes rose sharply on Tuesday as Shanghai eased its strict antivirus limits on businesses and other activities.

South Korean markets have been closed for a holiday.

The more than 50% jump in oil prices so far this year is a big part of the high inflation sweeping the world. A report on Tuesday showed inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro hit 8.1% in May, the highest level since records began in 1997.

Through mid-May, the S&P 500 fell to seven straight losing streaks for its longest streak since the dotcom bubble burst two decades ago. Slowing data on the U.S. economy has heightened fears that high inflation is forcing the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates so aggressively that it will trigger a recession.

Stocks have managed to avoid a full-fledged bear market, at least so far, with the S&P 500 yet to close more than 20% below its all-time high. Speculation has grown that the Fed may consider a pause in rate hikes at its September meeting.

Starting Wednesday, the Fed will begin allowing some of the trillions of dollars in Treasuries and other bonds it amassed during the pandemic to come off its balance sheet. Such a move should put upward pressure on long-term Treasury yields, and it’s one way the Fed is trying to stamp out inflation by slowing the economy.

In other trading, the dollar rose to 129.55 Japanese yen from 128.70 yen on Tuesday. The euro fell from $1.0735 to $1.0705.

Traders await manufacturing data for Europe and the United States, due later Wednesday.

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