South Korea's Hanjin Shipping Co., which has led the country's shipping industry for the past four decades, has been declared bankrupt by a South Korean court on Friday.

Hanjin filed for court receivership under heavy debt five months ago.

Seoul Central District Court's judge Choi Ung-young said a caretaker assigned by the coourt will sell any remaining ships and other assets Hanjin still owns to pay off its creditors.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite finished at fresh record highs, led by solid gains in consumer discretionary sector and technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P 500 advanced by 0.44 percent or 10.68 pts to end at 2, 415.07 while the Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.69 percent or 42.23 pts to 6, 205.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which last hit a closing high on March one, rose by 0.34 percent or 70.53 points to end at 21, 082.95.

The discretionary index advanced 0.9 percent, while the S&P 500 retail index rose by 1.6 percent after strong quarterly financial reports from Best Buy, Sears and other retailers. The technology sector also outperformed, rising by 0.8 percent due to a jump in CSRA shares after the state IT provider exceeded earning estimates.

The solid Wall Street gains came despite a wave of selloff hitting energy shares, after price of oil saw its biggest decline in three weeks regardless of reports that OPEC would prolong its deal to reduce output by nine more months. Analysts said investors were disappointed that the cuts, while prolonged, were not any deeper and were deemed to be insufficient in tackling the persisting oil glut in the market. Shares in energy stocks slid 1.8 percent to 487.09.

Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. rallied after reporting its first quarterly profit since 2015, providing a bright spot for the retailer that has struggled to regain momentum.

The company's shares traded up 11 percent at $8.31 in late-afternoon trading.

First-quarter net income registered at $244 million, a significant improvement from the $471 million loss seen a year prior. The swing to positive results show efforts by CEO Eddie Lampert to sell assets and raise capital gaining traction. Investors priced in the results as an indication that Lampert's bid to revamp the bid is beginning to show progress.

However, the retail chain's main business- overseeing the Sears and Kmart stores- still faced difficulties in the most recent quarter.Despite the improvement in its financial results, sales continue to be gloomy. Sales at Sears' U.S. stores open by more than one year slid 12.4 percent, while Kmart sales fell 11.2 percent. Revenue plunged 20 percent to $4.3 billion in the latest quarter.

The company posted a loss of $230 million on adjusted earnings, wider than the $199 million loss posted a year prior.
2017.05.25 23:23:00 UTC+00

OPEC Renews Oil Output Cut Accord

In a widely-expected move, OPEC has agreed to renew a historic deal with 10 other crude-oil producers to reduce output until March 2018.

The accord, in which participants will see the 1.8 million bpd supply cut be prolonged by nine more months, has deepened an alliance between OPEC and Russia. By keeping production production at a level lower than the late 2016's levels, the producer cartel is curbing around 2 percent of the world's crude supply and aims to prop up prices at profitable levels.

However, investors had been looking forward to deeper production cuts. Oil prices still fell 4 percent due to persisting concerns on oversupply despite the news of the deal extension. The U.S. benchmark, the WTI, slipped to $49.17 per barrel while Brent, the global benchmark slid to $51.92 per barrel.

While the deal will be in place for a longer period, the same level of production cuts disappointed investors. Their concerns are also based on expectations that the U.S. will continue to ramp up production, keeping the market flooded with supply and hurting the crude price rally.

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May 28 at 2:54 UTC

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