Tech Companies, Banks Lead Stocks Higher; Oil Price Plunges

(AP) —


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U.S. stock indexes veered mostly higher in afternoon trading Tuesday, on course to recoup some of the market’s big losses from a day earlier. Gains in technology companies, banks and industrial stocks outweighed losses in household goods sellers, utilities and elsewhere in the market. Energy stocks slumped as the price of U.S. crude oil continued to slide, falling to the lowest level since December 2017.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 9 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,735 as of 1:57 p.m. Eastern Time.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 38 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,387, largely due to a loss in Boeing.

The Nasdaq composite gained 45 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,246. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,525.

OIL SKID: U.S. crude oil was having its biggest drop since August 2011, on track for its 12th consecutive decline. Benchmark U.S. crude plummeted 6.6 percent to $55.97 a barrel in New York, the lowest level since December 2017. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 6.2 percent to $65.78 a barrel in London.

Oil prices were down after President Trump tweeted that he hoped Saudi Arabia and OPEC would not cut production. The remarks come after Saudi Arabia said this week that the oil cartel and allied crude producers will likely need to cut supplies, perhaps by as much as 1 million barrels of oil a day.

The slide in oil prices weighed on energy sector stocks. Marathon Oil dropped 3.9 percent to $16.59.

TURBULENCE AHEAD: Boeing fell 2.4 percent to $348.61 following a Wall Street Journal report saying the aircraft manufacturer withheld information about potential hazards associated with an automated stall-prevention system on its 737 Max 8 aircraft like the Lion Air jet that crashed in Indonesia last month.

US-CHINA TRADE: The South China Morning Post reported Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser might visit Washington ahead of Xi’s planned meeting with President Donald Trump. The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said the visit is aimed at easing trade tensions, but no schedule had been decided. The two sides have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a dispute over U.S. complaints about Beijing’s technology policy. Xi and Trump are due to meet during this month’s Group of 20 gathering of major economies in Argentina.

THE QUOTE: “There is some good optimism that there is progress on trade at the G-20 meeting later this month,” said Craig Birk, chief investment officer at Personal Capital.

TECH REBOUND: Technology stocks were trading higher, erasing some of the sector’s hefty losses from a day earlier. Chipmaker Nvidia climbed 5.9 percent to $200.72.

BANK ON THIS: Financial sector stocks move higher a day after posting big losses. Synchrony Financial rose 2.6 percent to $27.92.

REVVED UP: Advance Auto Parts vaulted 8.9 percent to $181.99 after the retailer reported strong quarterly results and raised its forecast.

ASSET SALE: General Electric jumped 9.2 percent to $8.72 after disclosing that it will sell up to a 20 percent stake in Baker Hughes. GE, which has been struggling with sagging profits, aims to raise about $4 billion in cash from the sale.

BUY AND BUILD: D.R. Horton rose 2.4 percent to $34.72 after the homebuilder agreed to buy Westport Homes, which builds homes in Indiana and Ohio.

SPLIT DECISION: Amazon gained 0.8 percent to $1,649.18 after the booming online retailer said it would split its much-anticipated second headquarters operations between New York and northern Virginia.

MUCH IMPROVED: Home Depot recovered from an early slide, gaining 0.6 percent to $180.55. The home-improvement retailer’s latest quarterly results topped Wall Street’s estimates.

MIXED MEAL: Tyson Foods dropped 5.3 percent to $58.35 after the meat producer’s quarterly earnings beat analysts’ estimates, but revenue fell short. The company also issued a weak outlook, noting that it faced higher labor and freight costs.

YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.15 percent from 3.19 percent late Friday. Bond trading was closed Monday for Veterans Day.

METALS: The price of gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,201.40 an ounce. Silver also fell 0.2 percent to $13.98 an ounce. Copper rose 0.4 percent to $2.69 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar gained to 113.98 yen from 113.86 yen on Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1261 from $1.1240.

OVERSEAS: European markets rose. Germany’s DAX gained 1.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 added 0.9 percent. London’s FTSE 100 was flat. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 2 percent. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 declined 1.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5 percent. Seoul’s Kospi gave up 0.4 percent and India’s Sensex added 0.4 percent.

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