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Opening Bell: U.S. Stocks Gain Steam as Oil Surges; Alibaba Posts Upbeat Results

5/05/16 9:48 AM EDT
U.S. stocks rose on Thursday as oil prices eclipsed $45 a barrel. A Canadian wildfire and conflict in Libya are set to interrupt production. Libya production could drop by 120,000 barrels a day, as militant groups have blocked oil tankers from moving. Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims rose by 17,000 over the past week to 274,000. The increased pushed the four week average up by 2,000 to 258,000. Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) reported better than expected fourth quarter revenue which rose 39 percent year-over-year as the company grew its user base. The upbeat quarter downplayed fears about China's slowing economy. 'Most would be considerably downbeat on the Chinese economy, but Alibaba seems to have bucked the trend as the company has beaten expectations across the board,' said Brenda Kelly, head analyst at London Capital Group. Plus, Merck (MRK - Get Report) beat first quarter earnings on the bottom line and raised its full year earnings outlook to a range of $3.65 to $3.77 a share, compared to a previously reported $3.65 to $3.75. Revenue for the company's new hepatitis C drug came in short of estimates. TheStreet's Scott Gamm reports from Wall Street.
Stocks in this video: BABAMRK
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