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Markets closed higher on Wednesday after the S&P 500 notched up an intraday high due to a rally in energy shares. Energy sector was buoyed by rise in oil prices due to decline in global crude inventories. Meanwhile, shares of Apple fell after investors raised concerns about iPhone X’s high launch price and later than expected delivery date of the new iPhone. Both the Dow and the Nasdaq ended in the green

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 22,158.18, gaining 0.2%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 0.1% to close at 2,498.37. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,460.19, gaining 0.1%. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,420 to 1,269. On the Nasdaq, advancers outnumbered decliners by 1,474 to 1,214.  The CBOE VIX decreased 1.6% to close at 90.89.

S&P 500 Notches up an Intraday High, Energy Shares Rally

The S&P 500 gained almost 2 points to end the trading at an intraday high. Such gains were made possible by increase in energy and consumer discretionary shares. Five of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 ended in the positive territory, with energy leading the advancers. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) increased 1.3% on Wednesday.

Oil prices surged on Wednesday following reports from International Energy Agency that global crude inventories had declined. Brent crude gained 1.6% to close at $55.15 per barrel, crossing the $55 level for the first time since April. Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) increased 2.2% to close at $49.29 per barrel.

Gasoline stocks had fallen earlier after Hurricane Harvey forced out of action almost 25% of the total refining capacity of United States. In a recommendation to the United States, the IEA said that the country should add oil and related products to government held securities in a bid to address catastrophes such as hurricanes. Also, the international body commented in its monthly report that increasing global demand for crude and OPEC decision to curb the output would eventually balance the inventories.

Fears over Irma, North Korea Ease

Moreover, investors have regained their appetite for risk following weaker than expected impact of Hurricane Irma and a nuclear missile from North Korea anticipated to be launched over the weekend failed to materialize. 

Apple’s Shares Decline

Meanwhile, shares of Apple (AAPL - Free Report) lost 1.3% after investors raised concerns regarding high launch price of iPhone X. Moreover, after the launch the tech giant said that iPhones would be available no sooner than Nov 3. This further dampened investors’ sentiment. The company possesses a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Economic Data

On the economic data front, the Core PPI increased 0.2% from the month of July, coming in line with the consensus estimate. Such an increase can be owed to a 9.5% increase in the cost of gas. Over the last 12 months, the PPI surged about 2.4% after gaining 1.9% in July.

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