U.S. Stocks Extend Gains as Mining And Machinery Makers Rise


1 Stocks

Stocks rose for the third day in a row Wednesday as machinery and mining companies traded higher. Oil prices also continued their rise, and stocks and oil prices are at their highest in almost a year.

Metals prices jumped as the dollar got weaker. Also trading higher were makers of beverages and other consumer goods. That’s because a weaker dollar could mean better sales and bigger profits for U.S. companies that do a lot of business overseas.

The& Dow& Jones industrial average rose 66.77 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,005.05. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 6.99 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,119.12. The Nasdaq composite added 12.89 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,974.64. The S&P 500 and oil prices are both at their highest levels since July, and the Nasdaq hasn’t been this high since Dec. 31.

Machinery maker Caterpillar rose $1.30, or 1.7 percent, to $78.11 and engine maker Cummins picked up $1.72, or 1.5 percent, to $118.87. Gold and copper producer Freeport-McMoRan added 34 cents, or 3 percent, to $11.58 and gold producer Newmont Mining gained 43 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $35.38.

The dollar declined to 106.94 yen from 107.31 yen late Tuesday. The euro edged up to $1.1397 from $1.1361. The dollar has been very strong over the last few years but slipped a bit in the wake of Friday’s disappointing jobs report.

The price of gold jumped $15.30, or 1.2 percent, to $1,262.30 an ounce and silver leaped 59 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $16.99 an ounce. Copper added 1 cent to $2.06 a pound.

Oil prices continued to rise. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 87 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $51.23 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, jumped $1.07, or 2.1 percent, to $52.51 a barrel in London.

Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniel’s and other liquor brands, gained ground after it reported strong fourth-quarter results. The stock gained $3.45, or 3.5 percent, to $100.80. Competitor Constellation Brands, which makes Corona, Negra Modelo and Pacifico beers, rose $2.95, or 2 percent, to $154.06 and Molson Coors rose $1.89, or 1.9 percent, to $103.60.

Other makers of household goods also rose. Kellogg added 92 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $76.08 and PepsiCo edged up 69 cents to $103.18.

Utility companies gained ground as bond yields fell. Utilities are stable, dividend-paying investments that are often compared to bonds, and investors bought them as yields decreased. NextEra Energy rose $1.81, or 1.5 percent, to $122.92 and Duke Energy added 52 cents to $80.51.

Headphones maker Skullcandy surged after the company’s founder said he might want to take the company private. Rick Alden, Skullcandy’s largest shareholder, disclosed the idea in a form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Skullcandy stock climbed 63 cents, or 16 percent, to $4.56.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline gained 3 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Heating oil picked up 3 cents to $1.57 a gallon. Natural gas was unchanged at $2.47 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Germany’s DAX was down 0.7 percent and France’s CAC-40 shed 0.6 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.9 percent and Seoul’s Kospi advanced 0.8 percent.

U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-Year U.S. Treasury note fell to 1.70 percent from 1.72 percent.

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