Wall Street Rallies Amid Brexit, Boeing Turmoil

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NEW YORK: Wall Street held on to solid gains on Wednesday (Mar 13), rallying as British lawmakers ruled out a no-deal Brexit and President Donald Trump became among the last world leaders to ground Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft.

Investors also were cheered by economic data showing the US manufacturing sector had a boost in January and wholesale inflation remained tame in February.

Shares in Boeing bounced erratically after Trump's decision to ground all of the top-selling 737 MAX aircraft, to which much of the world's airspace is now closed.

But the stock price clambered back into the green for the day, rising 0.5 per cent to US$377.12, putting it up for the first time in three days but still down nearly 11 per cent since before Sunday's deadly crash in Ethiopia.

The Dow, where Boeing's shares are heavily weighted, rose by triple digits, closing up 148.23 points (0.58 per cent) at 25,702.89.

Meanwhile, the broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq both gained 0.69 per cent to close at new highs for 2019, settling at 2,810.92 and 7,643.41, respectively.

In Britain, lawmakers voted to reject a possible no-deal exit from the European Union, which is still due to occur in just over two weeks, after earlier this week rejecting the divorce deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May..

US government data showed the weakening US manufacturing sector had a modest boost in January while wholesale inflation was slower than expected in February.

Analysts said the markets' indifference to multiple apparent dangers on the horizon - including weakening corporate revenues, a slowing global economy and Brexit - was because central banks had clearly signaled a pause on interest rate increases.

"Overall, part of the answer is we have a Fed that has made it clear that they do not expect to raise rates in the short term or mid-term," Quincy Krosby of Prudential Financial told AFP.

"Right now, the market does not see a rate hike this year."