The main US equity markets were gaining on Tuesday afternoon, starting a new year in the green and snapping a three-day slide that ended 2016, although off the day’s highs following a decline in oil prices.
After ending 2016 with a three-day drop, stocks renewed their general trend higher with gains on the Dow Jones Industrial Average led by a 2.5% rise in Merck (MRK) and a 2.4% increase in Verizon (VZ). That lined up with the top performing sectors on the Standard & Poor’s 500, with telecommunication services up 1.5% and health care gaining 1.2%.
Energy shares gained 0.7% even as West Texas Intermediate retreated 2.3% to $52.49 a barrel and Brent, the international standard, lost 2.1% to trade at $55.69. A rallying US dollar weighed on the commodity, along with reports that Libya is planning to increase output, according to Reuters and CNBC.
In company news, Ford Motor (F) jumped 3.1% after the carmaker announced plans to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant at a cost of $700 million rather than a planned $1.6 billion investment in Mexico. Revlon (REV) advanced 2.7% after saying in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it will eliminate approximately 350 positions worldwide.