Stocks Rise Again as Technology Companies and Amazon Jump

NEW YORK (AP) -
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After a shaky start, U.S. stocks are rising Wednesday as technology companies continue to climb. Consumer-focused companies are up as Amazon jumps, but retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Express and Chico’s FAS are falling. The S&P 500 index is on track for its fourth gain in a row.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index climbed 15 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,912 as of noon Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80 points, or 0.3 percent, to 26,144. The Nasdaq composite jumped 63 points, or 0.8 percent, to 8,093.

While the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are at record highs and on pace for a four-day winning streak, smaller companies didn’t do as well. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,732. It’s up 0.4 percent this week while the S&P 500 has gained 1.3 percent.

Smaller companies tend to do better than larger ones when investors are worried about trade tensions, and vice versa. Larger stocks rallied earlier this week after the White House said it had reached a preliminary deal with Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

TIP-TOP TECH: Technology companies continued to lead the market higher. Hewlett Packard Enterprise rose 2.4 percent to $17.14 after it announced strong third quarter results and raised its forecasts for the year.

Elsewhere, Google’s parent company Alphabet gained 1.4 percent to $1,263.07 and Microsoft picked up 1.3 percent to $111.72. The S&P 500 technology index has jumped 33 percent over the last year while the S&P 500 has risen a still-strong 19 percent.

ROKU ROCKED: Roku slumped 2.6 percent to $61.35 following a report that Amazon may challenge it with an ad-supported video service. Amazon jumped 2.1 percent to $1,973.98.

CHINESE TAKEOUT: Yum China climbed 5.5 percent to $39.23 after the Wall Street Journal reported that a group of investors offered to buy it for $46 per share, or $17.6 billion. The Journal said the offer was made in recent months and that Yum China rejected it.

CRYING FOUL: Dick’s Sporting Goods sank 6.6 percent to $34 after its sales fell short of expectations. The company said sales of Under Armour products dropped significantly because of that company’s decision to expand distribution of its apparel to other stores.

Under Armour slid 1.4 percent to $20.64. Retailers struggled in general, and Chico’s FAS fell 4.3 percent to $8.45 after its quarterly report. Elsewhere, Tiffany sank 4.7 percent to $124.95, and Macy’s gave up 2.8 percent to $35.34. Ralph Lauren slipped 1.2 percent to $134.25.

Footwear seller Shoe Carnival soared 11.6 percent to $41.20 after it raised its annual forecasts following a second quarter. the company said back-to-school sales are off to a good start.

HOME SLOWDOWN: Homebuilders fell after the National Association of Realtors said fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in July compared to the previous month. High home prices and rising mortgage rates are pushing home sales down even though economic growth is solid.

TopBuild declined 2.5 percent to $65.24 and TRI Pointe lost 1.2 percent to 14.60.

The companies also dipped Tuesday after the S&P-Case Shiller index showed that home prices rose 6.3 percent in July, a slower pace than the month before.

ENERGY: Energy companies rose along with oil prices. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1 percent to $69.18 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 0.8 percent to $76.89 a barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices ticked lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.89 percent from 2.88 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 111.78 yen from 111.21 yen. The euro dipped to $1.1695 from $1.1696.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX picked up 0.3 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.3 percent. The British FTSE slid 0.7 percent.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 percent while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.2 percent and Seoul’s Kospi advanced 0.3 percent.