U.S. Stock ETFs Eke Out Gains as Traders Look to Healthy Earnings

Consequently, many market observers are now focused on earnings and market fundamentals as an indicator of future strength, holding a diminished view on potential policy changes.

“At the end of the day, the market is always about earnings and growth,”  JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, told the Wall Street Journal. “If your earnings are good and the economy is performing, that makes up for a lot of other things.”

Meanwhile, losses in energy shares, which fell 1.3% in the S&P 500, kept a lid on market gains as crude oil prices continued their slip below $50 per barrel on concerns over a surplus in petroleum products.

The Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), the largest exchange traded fund dedicated to stocks in the S&P 500, dipped 1.3% Thursday. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell 1.6% to $48.8 per barrel, with the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) down 0.6%.

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