Utilities led U.S. stocks mostly higher in midday trading Monday as falling bond yields made high-dividend companies more attractive to income-seeking investors. Financial stocks were also headed higher. Technology companies were down the most, giving up gains from an early rally.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose three points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,442 as of 12:16 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,428. The Nasdaq composite slid 9 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,256. The Russell 2000 of small-company stocks picked up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,415.
REITS RALLY: Several real estate investment trusts were trading higher as investors sought out stocks that pay high dividend yields. Kimco Realty rose 55 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $18.54. Realty Income Corp. picked up $1.45, or 2.6 percent, to $56.73.
MUSICAL CHAIRS: Pandora Media rose 2.5 percent following reports that the streaming music service’s founder and CEO Tim Westergren is stepping down. The stock picked up 21 cents to $8.49.
TECH SLUMP: Technology sector companies were down the most, reversing course after an early rally. Qorvo slid $2.86, or 4.1 percent, to $67.08. Skyworks Solutions fell $2.24, or 2.2 percent, to $102.12. Nvidia gave up $1.71, or 1.1 percent, to $152.12.
ENERGY: Crude oil prices recovered after wavering in early trading. Benchmark U.S. crude was up 44 cents, or 1 percent, to $43.45 a barrel in New York. Brent, the international standard, was up 21 cents to $45.75 a barrel in London. Oil prices last week hit their lowest point since August, about 16 percent below where they were a year ago on expectations supplies exceed demand.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.50 yen from 111.26 yen late Friday. The euro weakened to $1.1196 from $1.1199.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.12 percent from 2.14 percent late Friday.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, major indexes moved higher after a strong German economic survey reinforced hopes that the region’s recovery is gaining momentum. Germany’s DAX was 0.3 percent higher, while France’s CAC-40 was up 0.6 percent. The FTSE 100 in London gained 0.3 percent. In Asia, several market indexes notched gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7 percent, while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 percent. Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.4 percent. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Bangkok also gained.