US stock indexes were higher in early trading Wednesday amid higher oil prices and expectations that the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee minutes will push shares higher.
West Texas Intermediate futures, the US benchmark, and Brent crude, the global standard, were both up 0.1%, giving up gains but remaining in the green. Wall Street also is looking for confirmation that the decision by the Fed to raise interest rates last month was based on meaningful gains in the economy and expectations for fiscal programs to stimulate growth. The FOMC minutes will be released at 2 pm in Washington.
Overseas markets were mixed with the Nikkei rallying to a 13-month high, driven higher by upbeat Japanese manufacturing data and the overall trend for a weaker yen. European markets were mixed despite bullish Euro-zone production data with retailers losing ground after a major UK retailer warned of a challenging 2017 due to the upcoming Brexit. Losses across the sector, however, were offset by gains in financial stocks.
In equities, shares of Tesla (TSLA) are lower after the electric car-maker said fourth-quarter deliveries were down 9.4%, while Amazon (AMZN) shares rose after the company said deliveries for third-party vendors were up 50% for the holiday season.
By Fred Canto