Amazon, Nike drive Wall Street higher

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(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Friday, powered by gains in Amazon and Nike, while investors shrugged off fears of a looming U.S. government shutdown.

Amazon (AMZN.O) rose 1.3 percent after it raised the monthly fee for its Amazon Prime service, while Nike (NKE.N) was up 2 percent after Wedbush analysts upgraded the stock to “outperform”.

Lawmakers are racing against a midnight deadline to pass a bill to fund government operations through to Feb. 16 and avoid federal agency shutdowns this weekend.

The bill has yet to be approved by the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.

Equity investors have taken such incidents in stride, and their reactions have been largely muted during the past three shutdowns.

“Naturally, there are concerns. The House has a deal and the Senate maybe an issue. But investors are betting something will get done to avert a shutdown,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“But if indeed nothing gets done, it will cause a hiccup in the market.”

At 9:42 a.m. ET (1442 GMT), the S&P 500 .SPX was up 7.73 points, or 0.28 percent, at 2,805.76 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 27.00 points, or 0.37 percent, at 7,323.04.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 13.87 points, or 0.05 percent, at 26,031.68. The two biggest drags on the blue-chip index were IBM and American Express.

IBM (IBM.N) fell 2.8 percent despite posting its first revenue rise in 23 quarters. The company warned that a higher tax rate this year would eat into its profit.

American Express (AXP.N) slipped 2 percent after the credit card issuer posted its first quarterly loss in 26 years and said it would not buy back shares for the next six months due to the impact of the U.S. tax reform.

Schlumberger (SLB.N) reported a bigger-than-expected profit as the oilfield services provider benefited from higher oil prices. However, its shares fell 1.31 percent.

Oil prices fell more than half a percent on Friday as a bounce-back in U.S. production outweighed ongoing declines in crude inventories. [O/R]

Square (SQ.N) jumped 4.7 percent after brokerage Instinet hiked its price target on the stock by $16 to $64, saying 2018 will be a “phenomenal year” due to positive growth in gross payment value.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,423 to 1,122. On the Nasdaq, 1,397 issues rose and 1,063 fell.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva



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