US stock indexes moved higher in late-afternoon trading Wednesday, led by gains in big technology names, health care companies and retailers. Target added 2.9 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 62.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,768.93. The Nasdaq composite added 0.6 percent to 7,398.30. Shares of Macy's (M) rose more than 10% to lead S&P 500 gainers after the retailer reported strong earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macys-shares-jump-10-after-earnings-blow-past-consensus-guidance-raised-2018-05-16) and boosted its outlook for fiscal 2018.
RETAIL RALLY: Macy's jumped 10.9 per cent to $33.20 after reporting quarterly results that were far better than analysts were expecting.
Investors were also closely monitoring the bond market. He said investors were taking higher Treasury bond yields in stride, even after 10 year benchmark closed just below 3.1 percent.
The probability that the US central bank will raise its benchmark rate a fourth time this year went above 50 percent for the first time, according to the CME's FedWatch tracking tool for the fed funds futures. The department store operator noted that its Bloomingdale's and Bluemercury divisions as well as its flagship store brand all did well.
The S&P 500 index rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,714. Other retailers also rose.
Office Depot climbed 5.1 percent to $2.46 after the office supply company maintained its forecasts for the year.
The pickup in bond yields weighed on utilities and other high-dividend paying stocks, adding to their losses from a day earlier.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 26 cents to $71.75 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oil, rose 85 cents to close at $79.28 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.22 yen from 110.38 yen on Tuesday.
Gold rose $1.20 to $1,291.50 an ounce. Copper gained 1 cent to $3.07 a pound. Wholesale gasoline climbed 5 cents, or 2 percent, to $2.25 a gallon.
Major indexes in Europe finished higher Wednesday. Germany's DAX gained 0.2 per cent, while France's CAC 40 added 0.3 per cent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.1 per cent. It suggested an improvement in the USA economy a day after Japan said its economy shrank 0.6 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier. The Kospi in South Korea was essentially flat. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.1 per cent.