USA stocks mostly higher on tech strength; Boeing hurts Dow

An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 is seen taxiing to its gate at Miami International Airport

Aside from Boeing and engine-maker United Technologies (NYSE:), most other stocks were higher after data showed a solid rebound in in January. sales fell even more sharply than first thought in December, which is normally the most important month in the year. In a note this morning, Nomura Instinet's Frank Cappelleri recommended watching the small-cap Russell 2000 and the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which have dropped 4.3% and 3.3% last week, significantly underperforming the S&P 500.

All the major S&P sectors rose, led by gains in the technology sector, which was up 2.2 percent.

Why? Boeing, a Dow component, fell by 10% in early trading after the second of its new line of 737s crashed shortly after takeoff this past weekend.

A rally in the technology sector is pushing USA stocks to broad gains Monday, led by Apple and chipmakers. Conversely, the industrials and consumer staples sectors underperformed. Authorities in Ethiopia, China, Singapore, Australia and Indonesia are among the countries that have grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Boeing's stock has been soaring since the beginning of the year, but plunged Monday after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner that killed 157 people.

Late Tuesday, Prime Minister May lost the vote on her revised Brexit deal, as expected, by a margin of 149 votes, despite securing last-minute concessions from the European Union over the Brexit divorce deal on Monday. Both currencies saw muted reaction, with traders having mostly priced in the outcome. The S&P 500 rose 31 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 2,774, while the Nasdaq jumped 116 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 7.525. The yearly increase in the so-called core rate also slowed a tick to 2.1%.

The rose 14 points or 0.52%, while the tech-heavy increased 63 points, or 0.86%. In electronic trading after the settlement, gold futures touched highs above $1,302, edging slightly higher after the Brexit vote.

The Dow is up 104.42 points, or 0.4 per cent.

Trader Michael Milano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Signs of a supply crunch lingered and traders assessed the latest monthly US government price and output forecasts and allowed recent comments from energy officials to hold.

The upbeat start Monday follows the worst week of the year for the S&P 500.

The price of US crude oil rose 8 cents to $56.87 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 9 cents to $66.67 a barrel.

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