US stocks rise, oil surges on tanker attacks

Rising energy company shares boosted major averages Thursday, giving the S&P 500 its first gain in three days, after two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were attacked.

All three major averages -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite -- are on pace for their second straight week of gains.

One of the tankers carried oil bound for Japan, whose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was wrapping up a high-stakes visit in Tehran that sought to ease tensions between Iran and the United States.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the tanker attacks, calling the assaults part of a campaign of escalating regional tensions.

A third of all oil traded by sea passes through the strait, which is the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

The price for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude oil, rose 2.25 percent to 52.29 per barrel. Global crude oil benchmark Brent blend climbed as much as 4 percent. This comes a day after oil plunged more than 4 percent, weighed down by a weaker outlook for demand and a rise in U.S. crude inventories despite expectations of extended supply cuts led by OPEC.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 114.97 +0.21 +0.18%
CVX CHEVRON CORP. 166.28 +1.09 +0.66%
PSX PHILLIPS 66 118.58 -1.34 -1.12%
DIS THE WALT DISNEY CO. 81.25 -1.47 -1.78%
TWTR n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.38 percent. Gold rose 0.58 percent to $1,344.50 per ounce.

Wall Street expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates next month also boosted investor sentiment. If the central bank takes that step it would be the first rate cut since it started hiking rates in December 2015.

But a rate cut might not augur more equity gains. The Fed cut rates in January 2001 and September 2007 -- right ahead of recessions and massive stock market corrections, Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial, said in a statement to FOX Business.

“The previous two times the Fed cut rates for the first time in 2001 and 2007, we saw stocks eventually get cut in half,” he said. “But the reality is if you go back further in time, you can also see explosive rallies after that first cut.”

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 28.05 -0.23 -0.81%

Shares for top U.S. airlines rose after American Airlines and Southwest Airlines appeared to raise fares, according to one analyst.

Walt Disney stock got a boost after Morgan Stanley raised its forecast for Disney Plus subscriber growth.

Twitter shares fell after brokerage Moffett Nathanson said it expects the social media company's costs to rise and revenue growth to slow.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33963.84 -106.58 -0.31%
SP500 S&P 500 4320.06 -9.94 -0.23%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13211.806896 -12.18 -0.09%

In economic news, initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended June 8, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Also,  import prices dropped 0.3 percent last month, the biggest decline since last December, after edging up 0.1 percent in April.

In Asia on Thursday, China's Shanghai Composite finished the day flat, rebounding from early losses. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell as much as 1.8 percent, then rebounded for a slight gain of 0.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei ended the day 0.3 percent higher.


European markets ended the day little changed. Britain’s FTSE 100 and  France’s CAC 40 were both little changed.  Germany's DAX added 0.4 percent.