Pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline was a notable gainer in early trading on Wall Street on Wednesday after a strategy update. Furthermore, tech group Microsoft continued its advance. The day before, the company passed the $2 trillion mark in market cap for the first time.
The markets were further under the spell of rising oil prices, as oil demand is picking up strongly due to the economic recovery from the corona crisis.
GSK will divest its painkillers and other over-the-counter products division in 2022 but will retain a 20 percent stake in the new company. With this step, GSK hopes to better focus on the development of new medicines against cancer, AIDS and other diseases, for example. Investors appreciated the move and put the stock almost 3 percent higher.
Microsoft posted a 0.1 percent gain. The software and technology group passed the $2 trillion mark in market value on Tuesday. This makes Microsoft the second American company to reach that milestone. Apple has already crossed that line before. The maker of the iPhone is worth about $2.2 trillion.
Furthermore, tech company Amazon was also in the spotlight after the two-day Prime Day bargain festival. The event sold 250 million items worldwide. That marked the busiest Prime Day ever for the company, according to Amazon. Shares of Amazon gained 0.2 percent. However, Amazon is under fire from unions that accuse the company of not treating employees well.
Shortly after the opening bell, the leading Dow-Jones index was close to 33,934 points. The broad S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent to 4,249 points, and tech gauge Nasdaq gained 0.3 percent to 14,293 points, further tightening its record from a day earlier.