MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market Sets Fresh Records As Oil Rallies

By Sue Chang and Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Metal prices rise after China promises to boost infrastructure spending

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The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite hit fresh intraday records on Monday as a jump in oil prices to a two-week high lifted Wall Street sentiment.

The S&P 500 index added 11 points, or 0.5%, to 2,402, trading above its all-time closing high set last week. The large-cap index earlier touched an intraday record of 2,404. Ten of its 11 main sectors were trading higher, led by energy and materials, while telecommunications services was the lone loser.

The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 25 points, or 0.4%, to 6,146, setting a record in intraday trade of 6,153.04.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 94 points, or 0.5%, to 20,991. Cisco Systems Inc.(CSCO) and Johnson & Johnson(JNJ) were the top performers, both up more than 2%.

"The move upward is particularly interesting since the [Empire State] manufacturing report was disappointing," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, referring to a measure of activity in New York state.

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Crude-oil prices surged nearly 3% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crude-oil-jumps-to-2-week-high-as-saudis-russia-back-continued-output-cuts-2017-05-15) after energy ministers from Saudi Arabia and Russia said in a joint statement that they endorse a nine-month extension (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/saudi-arabia-russia-back-9-month-extension-to-opec-output-deal-2017-05-15) to current production cuts--three months longer than expected.

The proposed extension still needs to be confirmed when the 13 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries gather for a closely watched meeting in Vienna on May 25.

"The picture in oil market did not change at all. We are still dealing with a lot of supply and the U.S. is a swing supplier. Whenever oil reaches a certain price, U.S. producers enter the market," said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors.

"However, it appears oil prices are no longer impacting earnings. The first-quarter earnings were good and the labor market is holding up, with a possible labor crunch coming. With this backdrop, we would want to stay invested in stocks," Ogg said.

Cieszynski, meanwhile, cautioned against reading too much into the market's move higher.

"Despite the gains, the S&P is still struggling with 2,400 and the Dow has remained unable to regain 21,000. We're still just at the start of the seasonally weaker half of the year for stocks and I'm still of the mind that the rally which started back in November may be running on fumes," he said.

Geopolitical uncertainty also continues to hang over the market. North Korea over the weekend tested another ballistic missile over the Sea of Japan (East Sea) on Sunday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/north-koreas-ballistic-missile-launch-viewed-as-challenge-to-new-president-in-south-2017-05-13), seen as a direct challenge to the newly elected president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in.

Stock movers: Energy companies were among biggest gainers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-stocks-surge-after-saudis-russians-endorse-extension-of-production-cuts-2017-05-15). Shares of Transocean Ltd.(RIG) climbed 4%, Chesapeake Energy Corp.(CHK) rose 1.1%, and Marathon Oil Corp.(MRO) jumped 2.9%.

Meanwhile, shares of cybersecurity companies also advanced (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/anti-virus-stocks-rally-with-wannacry-cyber-attack-expected-to-go-on-the-rampage-again-2017-05-15) as the "WannaCry" virus was expected to continue to wreak havoc (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cyberattacks-may-gear-up-again-monday-experts-fear-2017-05-14). Shares of Symantec Corp.(SYMC) rose 3.5%, Palo Alto Networks Inc.(PANW) gained 3.9% and FireEye Inc.(FEYE) surged 8.9%. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF(HACK) rose 3.6%.

Patheon NV(PTHN) soared 33% after Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.(TMO) said it was buying the company for $7.2 billion including $2 billion of net debt (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/thermo-fisher-to-acquire-patheon-in-deal-valued-at-72-billion-including-2-billion-net-debt-2017-05-15).

Moody's Corp.(MCO) said it would buy Dutch business intelligence firm Bureau van Dijk for EUR3 billion, or around $3.27 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/moodys-to-pay-33-billion-to-buy-dutch-business-intelligence-company-bureau-van-dijk-2017-05-15). Shares rose 1.7%.

Shares of Alphabet Inc.(GOOGL)(GOOGL) gained 0.3% after Waymo LLC, the driverless car division of the Google parent, and ride-hailing startup Lyft Inc. said Sunday they would work together to develop autonomous vehicle technology (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/waymo-lyft-to-collaborate-on-self-driving-cars-2017-05-15).

The announcement is seen as another potential blow to rival Uber Technologies Inc., just as the company is headed for a court battle with Alphabet (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-biggest-heavyweight-silicon-valley-legal-fight-of-our-time-is-driving-forward-2017-05-13) over a key technology for self-driving cars.

Economic news: A gauge of New York-area manufacturing slumped into negative territory (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/empire-state-index-slumps-in-may-to-first-negative-reading-since-election-2017-05-15) for the first time since the presidential election. The Empire State manufacturing index for May fell to negative 1, from positive 5.2 in April.

Separately, sentiment among home builders rebounded in May, buoyed by optimistic views of demand for housing.

Other markets: European stock markets were up across the board (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-oil-mining-shares-bounce-up-outpacing-broader-market-2017-05-15) and stocks in Asia closed mostly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-largely-surge-ahead-despite-global-risks-2017-05-14), with investors largely ignoring a batch of disappointing Chinese data and instead focusing on China's "One Belt, One Road" infrastructure program.

President Xi Jinping over the weekend said there will be more than $100 billion in fresh financing (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/xi-casts-china-as-guardian-of-globalization-as-he-pledges-100-billion-to-one-belt-one-road-2017-05-15) in support for the initiative, a bid to link regions via infrastructure projects that is seen as a bid to reshape the geopolitical world order by casting China as the protector of globalization.

The project helped lift metals (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-firms-platinum-surges-on-chinas-renewed-infrastructure-pledge-2017-05-15), with gold up 0.2% and silver adding 1.2% while copper gained 0.7%.

The dollar traded lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-down-against-commodity-currencies-as-oil-prices-surge-2017-05-15) against most other major currencies and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.34%.

--Sara Sjolin contributed to this report.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 15, 2017 13:45 ET (17:45 GMT)