By Daniel Shvartsman
Investing.com -- U.S. stocks ticked up in early morning trade, helped by Hong Kong easing COVID restrictions, but looked set for a quiet day of holiday-week trading to close out their worst year since 2008.
At 09:35 ET (14:35 GMT), the S&P 500 traded 0.45% higher to 3847, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 130 points or 0.4% to 33374. The Nasdaq Composite ticked up 0.6%, coming off a more than 1% loss to start the week. The small cap Russell 2000 index rose 0.6% in early trading as well.
Hong Kong announced it would end more of its COVID-related restrictions, fueling the general China reopening theme that emerged yesterday when Beijing made a similar announcement.
One of the stocks in the spotlight Wednesday was Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA ), which came off a 11.4% drop on Tuesday. The electric vehicle manufacturer rose 5.3% in early trading as analysts rushed in to assess the situation, with Baird tabbing Tesla a best idea for 2023. Electric vehicle peer Lucid Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LCID ) also rebounded, up 6.5% in early trading.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX ) dipped 0.9% in early trading, as The Information reported that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN ) was doubling down on Prime video and developing a stand-alone sports watching app. Amazon traded flat in early Wednesday action.
Other notable movers were SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SEDG ) and Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH ), as the two solar energy companies continued their downward trajectory this week, down 3.4% and 2% respectively. Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV ) dropped another 3% as reporting continued around its scheduling crisis after recent heavy weather in the U.S.
Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNRC ) was neck and neck with Tesla to be the leading gainer on the S&P 500, up 5.3% as Janney tabbed the stock as a buy and Northland Securities called the power company a best idea for 2023.
The economic data slate Wednesday includes pending home sales for November and manufacturing data from the Richmond Federal Reserve, both out at 10:00 AM ET, which could provide insights into the state of the U.S. economy.
Oil prices dipped Wednesday, handing back some of the previous session's gains. In Wednesday morning trade, Crude Oil WTI Futures dropped 0.5% to $79.18 per barrel, while Brent Oil Futures dropped 0.25% to $84.45.
The American Petroleum Institute is due to release data on U.S. crude inventories Wednesday after market close, and stocks are expected to have fallen, adding to last week's 3 million barrel draw.
Additionally, gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,813/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0658. Bitcoin traded near flat at $16,709, not getting much of a bid from news that MicroStrategy (NASDAQ: MSTR ), bitcoin bull Michael Saylor's company, had added to their bitcoin pile, buying 2,395 bitcoins at an average price of $17,871.
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