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US stock indexes tick higher as oil’s dismal week eases

Altice founder Patrick Drahi, center, is applauded as he rings a ceremonial bell when his company’s IPO begins trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes ticked higher in morning trading Thursday after the price of oil stabilized, at least for now.

This week has been dominated by oil’s tumbling price, which dropped on Wednesday to its lowest level since last summer, and how much it will affect the broader market.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,437, as of 11:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,450, and the Nasdaq rose 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,239.

CRUDE STASIS? Benchmark U.S. crude rose 63 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $43.16 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, jumped 82 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $45.64. If those moves hold, it would mark a big shift in momentum from earlier in the week

Oil on Wednesday touched its lowest price since August, as expectations continue that supplies of crude will exceed demand. Crude has dropped about 20 percent this year, which puts at peril the big gains in profits that analysts had forecast for energy companies.

WHEN NO CHANGE IS A GOOD CHANGE: Energy stocks in the S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent, which could be considered a victory given the group has already lost nearly 15 percent this year.

EARNINGS BOOST: Tech giant Oracle jumped $4.35, or 9.4 percent, to $50.68 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after reporting stronger revenue and earnings for its latest quarter than analysts expected.

Technology companies are expected to report some of the strongest earnings growth for the April-through-June quarter, one of the reasons their stocks have been helping to lead the market this year.

TAKING OFF: American Airlines Group rose 97 cents, or 2 percent, to $49.40 after saying that Qatar Airways told its U.S. rival it’s looking to buy a 10 percent stake in it.

OFF THE SHELF: Barnes & Noble rose 40 cents, or 6.2 percent, to $6.90 after reporting a smaller loss for its latest quarter than analysts expected. The bookseller’s shares trimmed their loss for the year to 37.7 percent.

GOOD, BUT NOT ENOUGH: Accenture fell $7.12, or 5.6 percent, to $119.99 for the largest loss in the S&P 500. The consulting company reported quarterly earnings that were in line with analysts’ expectations, but it also modestly trimmed the top end of its forecast for revenue growth this year, when taking changes in foreign-currency values into account.

YIELDS: The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.16 percent from 2.15 percent late Wednesday. The two-year yield was flat at 1.35 percent, and the 30-year yield held steady at 2.73 percent.

CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.1161 from $1.1167 late Wednesday, and the British pound dipped to $1.2656 from $1.2668. The dollar rose to 111.39 Japanese yen from 111.34 yen.

MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, the French CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent, the German DAX was flat and the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.1 percent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.1 percent, South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.1 percent.

COMMODITIES: Gold rose $5.90 to $1,251.70 per ounce, silver added 16 cents to $16.54 and copper was flat at $2.60 per pound.

Natural gas edged up a penny to $2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.39 per gallon and wholesale gasoline added 3 cents to $1.44 per gallon.