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US stocks nearly wipe out losses as oil scales $47

US stocks nearly wipe out initial losses into the Thursday close, after oil prices briefly overshoot $47 and amid speculation Japan could expand its monetary stimulus soon

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Could Bank of Japan be scheduled to deliver the magic bullet?

US stocks nearly wiped out initial losses into the Thursday close, after oil prices briefly overshot $47 and amid speculation Japan could expand its monetary stimulus soon.

Adding to the growth buoyancy sentiment, markets were caught out when Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren suggested interest rates could rise faster than some investors expect.

Countering all that, the Nasdaq was dragged lower 0.49% lower to 4,737 by depressed Apple (NASDAQ:APPL) shares which had a knock-on effect on other tickers.

Apple dropped 2.4% to $90.32 after the Nikkei Asian Review reported shipments for iPhone 7 chips will likely shrink by 70% to 80% from a year ago as demand for the iPhone 7 is questioned.

The broad-based S&P500 closed down just 0.02% at 2,064, while the S&P Midcap 400 also recouped earlier losses, to end down 0.09% at 1,453.

The S&P Smallcap 600 shed 0.4% to 682, while the broader small-cap Russell 2000 subtracted 0.55% to 1,108.

Helping butress the declines and later helping reverse the declines, was oil prices. The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate closed up 0.4% at $46.43. However, earlier, it hit $47.02 - its highest level since the start of November.


Midsession

US shares were lower at midsession on Thursday - by the same proportion as the previous day - as the retail sector continued to display disappointing trading updates and US jobs data unsettled pro-growth investors.

The broad-based S&P 500 index was down 0.5% at 2,056, with Kohl's Corp (NYSE:KSS) the biggest decliner of 11% to $34.41, after the low-price department store - normally expected to be a winner in value-for-money buying tactics - reported a big first-quarter comparable sales miss.

Kohl's on Thursday said its comparable sales slid 3.9% during the recently ended quarter - its worst first-quarter report in seven years and the depths of the US economic recession. Analysts had expected Kohl's to report a slight uptick in comparable sales.

Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims unexpectedly increased last week to the highest level since February 2015, adding further to doubts about the pace of economic growth.

On the S&P Midcap 400 was down 0.5% at 1,447, and led by Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP), down 9.6% at $3.28, still reeling from the collapse of the retailers merger plan with Staples Inc (NASDAQ:SPLS) on Wednesday.

The S&P Smallcap 600 was down 0.6% at 680 and led by Dice Holdings (NYSE:DHX) 7.9% lower at $6.51.


Open

US stocks were mixed at the open as indices trimmed gains as traders digested more earnings and unemployment data.

A new report showed claims for unemployment benefit  unexpectedly increased last week to the highest level since February 2015, adding to doubts about the pace of economic growth.

It comes as  retail sales data is due tomorrow along with sentiment, producer prices and business inventories.

At the time of writing the benchmark Dow is up over 34 at 17.745; the tech heavy Nasdaq is down almost ten at 4,750, while the broader based S&P500 added almost three points at 2,067.

On the S&P400 Midcap index, it was up over seven points at 1,462, while the S&P600  Small cap exchange added over three at 687.88.

Among the biggest fallers was  retailer Kohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS), which plunged over 8% in New York after it  posted a sharp fall in first quarter profits.

It was the second big retailer this week to disappoint the market, following on from Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) worse-than-expected sales.

In the quarter ended April 30, Kohl's reported a net income of $17mln, equivalent to nine cents a share, having reported a profit of $127mln (63 cents a share) in the same period of 2015.

Cnova (NASDAQ:CNV) shares fell almost 44% as Casino said  it would spend up to $196 million to take the e-commerce unit Cnova private, nearly two years after listing it on Nasdaq as difficulties in Brazil have hit strategic plans.


PREVIEW

Wall Street shares are set for a higher open on Thursday after plunging Wednesday amid fears over American consumer spending.

Retail stocks were among the weakest on Wall Street as major US benchmarks tumbled, and  as earnings reports from the likes of Macys (NYSE:M) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) disappointed.

In Asia overnight, it was a mixed bag with the Hang Seng in Hong Kong down 139 points. The Shanghai Composite eased a tad lower, down around one point, while Japan's Nikkei 225 managed to rise  around 67 points.

On Wall Street yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Index shed 217 points, 1.2%, to close at 17,711. The S&P 500 dipped 0.96% to 2,064 and the tech heavy Nasdaq lost 1.02% to 4,760.

Today, futures trading sees the Dow 79 points ahead, the S&P500 is down over 19 and the tech heavy Nasdaq is 49 lower.

The oil price is 0.49% higher to stand at US$46.63 as the price of crude firmed  as the threat of a glut was lessened.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said that global oil stocks would experience a “dramatic reduction” in the second half on the back of strong demand and falling supply from some of the major producers.

Again, Thursday is a big day for retailers. Supermarket Kohl's  (NYSE:KSS) is reporting ahead of the bell, while fashion clothing retailer  Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) is also due to report.

In the UK, the Central Bank will announce policy decisions and any move on interest rates, which is likely to be closely watched.

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