Stock Indexes Hold Near Record Levels; Bond Yields Relax

NEW YORK -
markets

U.S. stock indexes held steady near record levels Friday morning, after gains for companies that pay big dividends helped to offset drops in technology stocks. Bond yields gave up some of their big gains from the last few days.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up by less than a point at 2,263, as of 10:35 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,891. The Nasdaq composite rose 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,460. It earlier rose above its record closing level of 5,463.83.

BOND YIELDS RELAX: The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 2.60 percent, putting at least a temporary halt to its strong rally since last month’s presidential election.

Bond yields had been jumping since Donald Trump’s surprise victory on expectations that faster economic growth and inflation may be on the way. The 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.86 percent on election day.

Yields kept rising this week after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for only the second time in a decade and said that three more increases may be on the way in 2017.

The two-year Treasury yield fell to 1.26 percent Friday from 1.28 percent late Thursday, pulling back from its highest level since the summer of 2009.

DIVIDEND REBOUND: The dip in bond yields helped to halt the weeks-long slide for high-dividend stocks, at least temporarily. Utilities, real-estate stocks and telecoms have struggled on worries that higher yields will cause income investors to abandon them in favor of bonds.

Real-estate stocks rose 0.8 percent, the most among the 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500. Utility stocks rose 0.7 percent.

JUMPING JABIL: Jabil Circuit rose $3.11, or 14.4 percent, to $24.68 after reporting stronger earnings for its latest quarter than analysts expected.

SLIDING ORACLE: Oracle fell $1.83, or 4.5 percent, to $39.03 after reporting revenue for its latest quarter that fell short of analysts’ expectations. It was the biggest drop for a stock in the S&P 500.

BURRITO BOARD: Chipotle Mexican Grill jumped $11.44, or 3 percent, to $393.79 after the company announced a shake-up of its board. Four new directors will join the board, as part of an agreement with activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square.

MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 0.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent.

COMMODITIES: Crude oil rose 70 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $51.60 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 94 cents to $54.96 a barrel in London.

Gold recovered a bit after falling to its lowest price in 10 months on Thursday. It rose $4.10, or 0.4 percent, to $1,133.90 per ounce. Silver rose 0.6 percent, and copper fell 0.7 percent.

DOLLAR: The euro fell to $1.0419 from $1.0424 late Thursday and is close to its weakest level against the dollar since early 2003. The dollar rose to 118.18 Japanese yen from 117.93 late Thursday.