U.S. stocks open higher on strong corporate earnings

It ended above 25,000 on January 4.

Oil and mining companies dragged Britain's FTSE 100 index to a negative close, tracking energy and metals prices lower, after gaining earlier in the session on a fall in sterling.

The investment bank revealed (as it had already flagged) that its fourth quarter earnings have been wiped out by a US$22bn charge related to the new United States tax law.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,780 as of 3:29 p.m.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq suffered the heaviest losses, falling 0.5 per cent to 7,223.69.

Merck surged more than 7 percent after early results from a key study showed its blockbuster drug Keytruda and two chemotherapy medicines helped lung cancer patients live longer and stopped the disease from advancing.

Deutsche Bank lost 0.8 per cent after it was accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to rig a Canadian benchmark rate. Eastern Time. Trading volumes tend to be thin on US holidays.

USA market trade was bolstered by corporate releases such as from Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), which put on 1.34% to US$77.81 in early deals. On the Nasdaq, 1,488 issues rose and 1,448 fell.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.44 per cent rise in the real estate index and 0.92 per cent gains in the technology index SPLRCT . The euro strengthened to $1.2271 from $1.2181.

THE BITCOIN TRADE: The price of bitcoin was down 14.3 percent to $11,647, according to the tracking site CoinDesk.

Oil prices eased from three-year highs as traders booked profits from the rally but healthy demand underpinned prices near $70, a level not seen since 2014's market slump. In Germany, the Dax added 0.35 per cent, while the French Cac 40 was up less than 0.1 per cent. Piershale Financial Group Inc. now owns 97,647 shares of the exchange traded fund's stock worth $24,156,000 after purchasing an additional 39,770 shares during the last quarter. In China, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.8%, rallying from downbeat trading Monday and the South Korea Kospi rose 0.7%, its third consecutive day of gains. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.8 percent. Seoul's Kospi rose 0.7 percent. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.5 percent.

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