U.S. stocks rose slightly Wednesday as Urban Outfitters and Target helped retailers rally. That was enough to cancel out more losses for energy companies.
Urban Outfitters and Target did better in the second quarter than analysts expected, and Target raised its forecasts for the year. That helped companies that sell clothing and other retailers. Technology companies and firms that make and sell household goods also traded higher.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 3.50 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,468.11. The Dow Jones industrial average added 25.88 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,024.87. The Nasdaq composite gained 12.10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,345.11. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies inched up 0.30 points to 1,383.53.
Clothing and accessories retailer Urban Outfitters had a better second quarter than Wall Street expected, and analysts said there are some signs the company’s business is recovering after years of struggles. The stock rose $2.94, or 17.5 percent, to $19.76. Even with those gains, it’s down 31 percent this year and recently traded at eight-year lows, far below its price of $45 a share in early 2015.
Target gained $1.96, or 3.6 percent, to $56.31. The company raised its annual estimates after it did better than analysts expected in the second quarter.
Gap climbed 50 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $22.57. Express added 27 cents, or 4.8 percent, to $5.84. Retailers had struggled a day earlier after poor results and lower forecasts from Dick’s Sporting Goods and Advance Auto Parts. The S&P 500 index of retailers climbed 1.7 percent Wednesday after a 2.3 percent plunge the day before.
Benchmark U.S. crude lost 77 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $46.78 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 53 cents, or 1 percent, to $50.27 a barrel in London. That pulled energy companies down further. EOG Resources fell $2.04, or 2.3 percent, to $84.98 and Marathon Oil fell 34 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $11.19.
After an early gain, the dollar dipped to 110.16 yen from 110.58 yen. The euro rebounded to $1.1769 from $1.1734.
Bond prices turned higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.23 percent from 2.27 percent.
With bond yields falling, banks and financial companies turned lower as well. Lower bond yields mean lower interest rates on loans and fewer profits for banks.
Lincoln National fell $1.03, or 1.4 percent, to $71.14 and Bank of America gave up 28 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $24.19. Regions Financial sank 14 cents, or 1 percent, to $14.34.
The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting last month did not include many details about the central bank’s plans for letting its balance sheet shrink. Fed officials unanimously agreed to leave the interest rates unchanged.
Gold rose $3.20 to $1,282.90 an ounce. Silver climbed 23 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $16.94. Copper jumped 6 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $2.95 a pound.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 2 cents to $1.56 a gallon. Heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.57 a gallon. Natural gas shed 5 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.
France’s CAC 40 rose 0.7 percent, and Germany’s DAX and the FTSE i100 in Britain rose by the same amount. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 retreated 0.1 percent while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.9 percent. The South Korean Kospi advanced 0.6 percent.