Stocks staged a comeback in the final 90 minutes of trading and averted a red close for what would have been the fourth straight day. The three days of losses this week were the longest stretch since the November election. Stocks are still on pace for the worst week of 2017.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures settled below $US50 per barrel for the first time since December.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- Dow: 20,859.64 +3.91 (0.02%)
- S&P 500: 2,365.33 +2.35 (0.10%)
- Nasdaq: 5,845.99 +8.44 (0.14%)
- WTI crude oil: $US49.28, -$US1.00, (-1.99%)
- President Donald Trump told conservative groups that if the GOP leadership’s American Health Care Act did not pass, he would allow Obamacare to collapse and blame its failure on Democrats. Conservative groups contend that the AHCA’s tax credits that allow people to purchase insurance are a “Republican entitlement” and the whole bill is simply “Obamacare Lite” or “Obamacare 2.0.”
- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling. In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan sent on Wednesday, Mnuchin said “the outstanding debt of the United States will be at the statutory limit” at midnight on March 16. At that point, Treasury will have to utilise “extraordinary measures” for the federal government to keep paying its bills.
- AIG CEO Peter Hancock plans to step down. The move comes more than a year after billionaire investor Carl Icahn called for a breakup of the company.
- Airbnb has closed a $US1 billion Series F funding round that values the home-rental startup at around $US31 billion, according to a Thursday SEC filing. Airbnb has “no plans to go public anytime soon,” but was profitable in the second half of 2016, a source close to the company told Business Insider.
- Spanish oil company Repsol said Thursday that it discovered 1.2 billion barrels of oil in Alaska, the largest US onshore discovery in 30 years. Initial production is expected to start in 2021 with the potential to extract up to 120,000 barrels of oil a day.
- Initial jobless claims rose by 20,000 to 243,000 last week, more than expected. The prior week’s reading was 223,000, the lowest since March 1973.
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