S&P and Nasdaq higher, Dow lower

Jeannie Matthews
March 15, 2019

Stocks are opening mostly higher on Wall Street, led by gains in health care and technology companies.

Investors have also been closely watching developments in Britain, although they appeared to shrug off the latest developments. CPI excluding the volatile categories of food and energy - considered by many to be a strong indicator of underlying inflation - rose 2.1% year-over-year, slower than the 2.2% pace anticipated.

Here's something you don't see every day: The S&P 500 rose by 17 points as markets opened this morning, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 200.

Average hourly earnings adjusted for consumer prices rose 1.9% in February from a downwardly revised 1.6% previously, the BLS reported.

The Dow lost 96 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,554.

The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2 percent, in line with estimates, implying benign underlying inflation last month and supports the Federal Reserve's "patient" approach for further interest rate hikes this year.

Investors are also still waiting for more details on any potential trade deal between the USA and China. Costly tariffs have hurt both nations and investors hope a deal can be struck to at least take some pressure off the global economy, which has shown signs of cooling off.

The wreckage of the ill fated Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft near Bishoftu.[Reuters] News of a Boeing Company's 737 Max crash operated by Ethiopian Airlines is bringing out equity bears. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.5 percent to 28,821.14 and Seoul's Kospi gained 0.9 percent to 2,157.18.

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Google's parent company Alphabet rose 2.2 percent and Botox maker Allergan rose 2.1 percent.

The dollar strengthened to 111.29 Japanese yen from 111.21 yen on Monday. The euro advanced to $1.1256 from $1.1245.

Technology stocks were among the biggest gainers, with Apple (NASDAQ:) up 2.2%, Facebook (NASDAQ:) gaining 2.5% and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) rising 1.1%. Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.82 a gallon, heating oil fell less than 1 cent to $1.99 a gallon and natural gas rose 1 cent to $2.78 per 1,000 cubic feet.

This decline shaved off close to 150 points from the Dow given its nature in the price-weighted stock's elevated price compared to a range of other Dow components.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, Mar 8, 2019.

But once again, the DOW lagged behind, being pulled lower by Boeing (BA).

Boeing's stock was up 20% this year after Tuesday's sell-off.

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