Stocks Edge Higher After Wednesday’s Selloff

US stocks inched higher, putting Wall Street indexes on course to recoup some of Wednesday’s losses, while oil prices hovered near recent highs.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% in early trading Thursday, a day after slumping 1.2%. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2%.

Stocks have struggled this year amid rising inflation, mixed economic signals, the war in Ukraine, and the continuing disruptions from the pandemic. The S&P 500 is down about 6% year-to-date, and the Nasdaq, down about 11%, is in its longest bear market since 2008.

That slump, however, comes on the back of a long rally. Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of US stocks’ pandemic lows. Since then, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have doubled, while the Dow is up nearly 90%.

Investors have grappled with how Russia̵[ads1]7;s war with Ukraine will put additional pressure on supply chains that are already disrupted from Covid-19. Oil prices, which remain above $ 100 a barrel, have added to concerns that consumers could see higher prices for energy and even products like plastic wrap or lawn fertilizer. Federal Reserve officials have penciled in a series of additional interest-rate increases to limit inflation this year.

US crude fell 1.2% to $ 113.58 a barrel.

“Through mid-February, it was all about rising rates, and then it was all about the war, and what’s concerning now is that they’ve combined,” said Daniel Morris, chief market strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management. “The challenge in this environment is what do you buy. You can not sit in cash. It is a ‘least-bad option’ type of market. “

WSJ’s Dion Rabouin explains why Wall Street is now betting big on crypto and what that means for the new asset class and its future. Composite photo: Elizabeth Smelov

Among individual stocks, shares of Nikola rose 12% after the company confirmed that production has begun on its electric commercial truck, the Tre. Uber was up 3.3% after saying it would list all New York City taxis on its app.

Russia’s stock market jumped in its first limited trading session since the West unveiled punishing sanctions nearly a month ago. The benchmark MOEX index added about 4%.

The increase is unlikely to be interpreted as a sign that all is well with the Russian economy. Only 33 shares out of 50 shares on the index were allowed to trade. To prevent a steep selloff, Russia’s central bank banned short selling, and blocked foreigners, who make up a huge chunk of the market, from selling their shares.

The move will also help prevent the ruble from weakening, as foreign investors would likely sell their ruble-denominated shares and then move out of the ruble for the dollar or euro. Russia’s currency has trimmed some of its losses against the dollar in recent sessions, trading at 98 rubles to the dollar Thursday.

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note ticked up to 2,367% from 2,320% Wednesday. Yields and prices move inversely.

Traders worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.



Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.2%. Major indexes in Asia closed with mixed performance. China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.6%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.9%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 added almost 0.3%.

New orders for durable goods — products designed to last at least three years — fell 2.2% in February from the month prior after auto production was again held back by supply chain bottlenecks and Boeing Co.

had a relatively weak month for aircraft orders.

The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell to 187,000 in the week ended March 19, down from 215,000 in the week prior.

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at

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