Wall Street modestly higher supported by strong gains in defensive stocks

  • Defensive sectors rise sharply in early trade on Wednesday.
  • Financial shares suffer losses amid disappointing earnings figures.

Wall Street's main indexes started the day in the negative territory but started to push higher boosted by the strong performance of the defensive sectors. As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.32% on the day while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were both up 0.3%.

Among the 11-major S&P 500 sectors, the Utilities Index and the Real Estate Index are up 0.7% and 0.6% to lead the winners in the early trade.

On the other hand, disappointing fourth-quarter earnings results from Goldman Sachs seem to be weighing on the Financials Index, which was last down 0.35% on the day.

In the meantime, investors are waiting for the White House to release the details of the phase-one trade deal, which will be signed at 1630 GMT.

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