Earnings Send U.S. Stocks Mostly Higher in Uneven Trading

NEW YORK (AP) -
Specialist Peter Mazza, left, and trader Anthony Carannante work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Stocks are mostly higher Tuesday as investors were encouraged by solid earnings reports from several big U.S. companies. Oreo maker Mondelez rose after reporting its latest quarterly results. Banks rose as interest rates climbed, and media companies also gained ground.

Real estate investment trusts rose. They’ve done far better than the rest of the stock market recently as trading turned volatile this month.

European stocks fell following a report that the region’s economy slowed down in the third quarter.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 18 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,659 as of 2 p.m. Eastern time. It jumped 1.2 percent Tuesday morning but briefly turned lower in early afternoon trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 221 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,659.

The Nasdaq composite gained 40 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,091. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 14 points, or 1 percent, to 1,491.

Stocks started Monday with strong gains, but those gradually faded and the market wound up with more losses after Bloomberg News reported that the Trump administration could announce tariffs on all remaining U.S. imports from China in early December if the two countries don’t make progress in trade talks.

THE QUOTE: Corporate earnings are up about 20 percent this year as the U.S. economy gains strength and corporate taxes come down after last year’s tax cut. Analysts expect company profits to keep growing in 2019, but at a slower pace. Julian Emanuel, chief equity and derivative strategist for BTIG, said investors are worried about two things that could slow the economy further: the U.S.-China trade dispute, and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates.

“All of this fear about growth is being traded on something we don’t see in the statistics right now,” he said. “You factually don’t have signs of an economic slowdown yet.”

HOW SWEET IT IS: Mondelez gained 4.7 percent to $42 after its third-quarter profit surpassed analysts’ projections. The maker of Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolate and Trident gum made up for some of its losses earlier this year.

Other companies that make and sell household goods also rose. Walmart rose 2.2 percent to $102.

Among real estate investment trusts, wireless communications infrastructure company American Tower climbed 5 percent to $160.46 following its third-quarter report.

The S&P 500’s index of utilities has climbed almost 3 percent over the last month and household goods makers are up 2.5 percent. The broader S&P 500 has tumbled 9 percent over the same time.

GE GETS SHOCKED: General Electric cut its dividend again. The company had halved its dividend to 12 cents from 24 cents in December, and cut it to 1 cent Tuesday. The struggling industrial giant also said the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into a $22 billion charge it booked to its power business this year. Securities regulators were also conducting a civil probe.

The stock sank 10.3 percent to $10.01, its lowest price since early 2009.

RESET: Take-Two Interactive soared 9.6 percent to $122.43 after it said its new game brought in $725 million in retail sales over its first three days. The stock also surged Thursday, the day of the game’s release, but Take-Two shares are sharply lower this month as technology companies have been punished.

FAVORITES FALLEN: Stocks have taken steep losses this month, and some of the worst losses were sustained by longtime market favorites that had soared in recent months. Amazon has plunged 24 percent this month and Netflix is down 23 percent. But those companies had more to lose than many others did: Amazon is still up 295 percent this year, and Netflix has climbed 45 percent.

OVERSEAS: The economy of the 19-country eurozone unexpectedly slowed in the third quarter. It expanded by 0.2 percent in the July-September period, which fell short of analyst forecasts.

Experts say Europe was hurt by one-time factors like new emissions standards for cars, so growth is likely to pick up again. But they say it’s unlikely to match last year’s strong performance as the region faces issues like Britain’s departure from the EU, trade disputes and a clash with Italy over that country’s budget.

Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent.

A weakening of the Chinese yuan helped some stock indexes in Asia. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.5 percent after official data showed that the unemployment rate dipped to 2.3 percent in September. South Korea’s Kospi picked up 0.9 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.9 percent.

BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.10 percent from 3.08 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 1 percent to $66.36 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 1.7 percent to $76.08 per barrel in London.

METALS: Gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,225.30 an ounce. Silver rose 0.1 percent to $14.46 an ounce. Copper slumped 2.8 percent to $2.66 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.84 yen from 112.35 yen. The euro fell to $1.1354 from $1.1390.