U.S. stocks edge up on defense, healthcare gains; pound firms

Thursday 1440/5/11 - 2019/01/17
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New York, Jan 17, 2019, SPA -- Gains in defense shares as well as healthcare helped to keep U.S. stocks in positive territory on Thursday, while an end to the latest chapter in Britain's exit from the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May's defeat of a confidence vote, lifted sterling.
S&P 500 industrials rose, led by defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman , after U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled a revamped U.S. missile defense strategy.
Also among sectors with the biggest gains were materials and health care, a sector that has been a laggard this year after having outperformed all other major S&P sectors in 2018.
Those gains helped to offset declines in other areas. Morgan Stanley shares fell after it reported disappointing earnings, hot on the heels of similarly weak numbers from JPMorgan Chase earlier in the week.
Investors have also begun to worry that the U.S. government shutdown is taking a toll on the U.S. economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 17.53 points, or 0.07 percent, to 24,224.69, the S&P 500 gained 8.52 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,624.62 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19.31 points, or 0.27 percent, to 7,054.00.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.04 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.20 percent.
22:37 LOCAL TIME 19:37 GMT