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Wall Street edges up as investors buy beaten down stocks

Wal-Mart was up 2.6% at $77.09 after big-box retailer's quarterly earnings beat expectations


Wall Street edges up as investors buy beaten down stocks

edged up slightly on Thursday as investors sought bargains a day after the market slumped following a scandal that cast a shadow over Donald Trump's presidency and the future of his ambitious pro-growth agenda.

Reports that Trump had tried to intervene in an ongoing federal investigation led to the harshest selloff in on Wednesday since his election in November.

Analysts, however, said the underlying strength in the economy could give investors the confidence to use Wednesday's decline to buy the market cheap.

"I would anticipate that the flatten out and start to rise a little bit maybe midday today, as we finish digesting the news," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management, LLC in Chicago, Illinois.

"I'm not concerned, just yet, that we're on the cusp of a major breakdown in the market. From a very short term perspective this is a very good buying opportunity."

A report from the Labor Department showed weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week and the number of Americans receiving unemployment aid hit a 28-1/2-year low, pointing to rapidly shrinking labor market slack.

Financials, which sank more than three per cent on Wednesday, were up 0.5 per cent, leading the gainers on the S&P 500.

At 9:36 am EDT, the industrial average was up 2.99 points, or 0.01 per cent, at 20,609.92, the S&P 500 was up 1.3 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 2,358.33 and the Composite index was up 1.59 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 6,012.83.

Cisco tumbled eight per cent after the networking gear maker forecast current-quarter revenue that came in below analysts' estimates.

Wal-Mart was up 2.6 per cent at $77.09 after the big-box retailer's quarterly earnings beat analysts' expectations.

Alibaba was down 2.9 per cent at $117.07 after the Chinese website's quarterly earnings missed analysts' expectations.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the by 1,732 to 802. On the Nasdaq, 1,259 issues fell and 896 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and eight new lows, while the recorded three new highs and 31 new lows.