Stocks point up as healing process continues

stocksThe S&P 500 stock index, after yesterday's loss snapped its five-session winning streak, looks set to continue its rebound from its late-summer lows and make a run at the key 2000 level as traders around the globe benefit from a rebound in the hard-hit energy patch.

In pre-market trading Wednesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 was up nearly 11 points, or 0.6%, after sliding 7 points yesterday to close at 1980. The Dow Jones, which eked out a 14 point gain Tuesday, was up 97 points in pre-market trading, while the tech-packed Nasdaq composite was pointing 0.7% higher.

Traders got a boost from a nearly 2% jump in the price of U.S.-produced crude oil which put the price of a barrel of crude within 50 cents or so of $50 a barrel. Energy shares were also up 3% in trading today in Europe.

Stocks around the globe continued to trend higher after a late-summere and early fall swoon. Shares of Japan's Nikkei 225 were up 0.8%, while stocks in Hong Kong's Hang Seng index soared 3.1%.

European stocks were up across the board, with Germany's DAX leading the charge with a gain of 0.8%. The CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.5%, London's FTSE 100 was 0.3% higher and the broad Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.4%.

Traders were also bracing for the unofficial start of the third-quarter earnings season, which kicks off with very low expectations Thursday when aluminum maker Alcoa reports. For the third straight month, the profit-reporting season begins with Wall Street analysts predicting a contraction in earnings. However, many Wall Street pros expect companies in the S&P 500 to top the lowered expectations, as they did in the first two quarters of 2015.

Chart watchers are also eyeing the key 2000 level on the S&P 500, as that level now is viewed as a ceiling of sorts for stocks as they look to rebound further. A break above 2000 would boost hopes that the uptrend that began in earnest Friday has legs and that the market is regaining its bullish stance.

Another possible market-moving event occurs Thursday, when the Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its September meeting, when it opted not to hike short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Stocks, of course, have been hurt by uncertainty surrounding the start of rate hikes. But have recently gotten a boost after Friday's weak jobs report resulted in Wall Street pushing out so-called Fed "lift-off" into early 2016.

Source: USAtoday

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