USA stock indexes end mostly higher, extending market's gains

Boeing Shares Plunge After Ethiopian Airlines Crash

The company led a slide in industrial sector stocks. Nvidia was the index's strongest performer after agreeing to buy chipmaker Mellanox.

The fatal crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 - the second involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 in five months - caused airlines in three countries to ground all flights involving the popular jet and cast fresh safety concerns on the airline.

Boeing lost 6.1 percent after many countries grounded the Boeing plane involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday or banned it from their airspace.

Technology stocks are powering broad gains on Wall Street, although a drop in Boeing is weighing on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 96.22 points, or 0.38 percent, to 25,554.66, the S&P 500 gained 8.22 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,791.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 32.97 points, or 0.44 percent, to 7,591.03.

The S&P 500 index rose 24 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 2,815.

Technology stocks were among the biggest gainers, with Apple (NASDAQ:) up 2.2%, Facebook (NASDAQ:) gaining 2.5% and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) rising 1.1%.

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April West Texas Intermediate crude rose 8 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $56.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday after trading as high as $57.55. The rally in the communications giant and Dow component helped offset some of Boeing's losses.

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as benign February inflation data supported the Federal Reserve's dovish stance on future rate hikes, but Boeing's fall for a second straight session pressured the Dow.

The dollar fell more steeply shortly after data revealed that the USA consumer-price index climbed 0.2% in February, matching market expectations, while the cost of living over the past year slowed again to 1.5% from 1.6%. Stocks were helped by a USA government report showing retail sales rose slightly in January.

Technology and health care companies powered much of the gains Wednesday.

May silver ended 13.9 cents, or 0.9%, higher at $15.413 an ounce. Apple and UnitedHealth each rose 1.1 percent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.63 percent. Fifth Third Bancorp rose 1.3 percent. Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.82 a gallon, heating oil fell less than 1 cent to $1.99 a gallon and natural gas rose 1 cent to $2.78 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Apple rose 2% and was the biggest boost to the S&P and Nasdaq, after the iPhone maker invited media to a March 25 event where it is expected to launch a television and video service.

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