Shares of energy companies rose as investors chased recent gains in the sector.

The energy sector is now the leading industry group on the S&P 500 for the year to date, as fears about conflict and inflation weigh on other groups, noted J.D. Joyce, president of Houston financial advisory Joyce Wealth Management.

Oil futures fell, with the globally traded Brent crude futures hitting its lowest level in more than a month, as concerns eased that the geopolitical tensions in the Middle East would disrupt the oil supply.

Israel's military is reportedly gearing up to complete its war on Hamas in the Gazan city of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians are taking shelter.

"Escalation doesn't look as likely for this moment, at least for today," said Joyce. "Things could obviously change, but we've seen some restraint there."

Write to Rob Curran at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-22-24 1710ET