BUSINESS US stock indexes edge mostly higher a day after a big gain


US stock indexes edge mostly higher a day after a big gain


05:33, November 28, 2018


FILE- In this Nov. 20, 2018, file photo, a trader works at the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 27. (Photo: AP)

Major U.S. stock indexes are slightly higher in uneven trading Tuesday after a strong gain the day before. High-dividend stocks including telecommunications and household goods companies are making gains while a steep loss for United Technologies is taking industrial and defense companies lower. Steelmakers and other materials companies are falling, and so are smaller and more U.S.-focused companies.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,679 at 2:45 p.m. Eastern time. The index jumped 1.6 percent Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 58 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,699. The Nasdaq composite inched up 6 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,087 after surging 2.1 percent a day earlier. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slid 10 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,495.

NO LONGER UNITED: United Technologies said it will split into three companies now that it has finished its $23 billion purchase of aviation electronics maker Rockwell Collins. The company’s aerospace and defense industry business will keep the United Technologies name, while its Otis elevator business and Carrier air conditioner and building systems unit will become separate companies.

Investors weren’t impressed with the company’s forecasts for Rockwell Collins. United Technologies also said it doesn’t expect to buy back any more of its stock during the breakup, which could take up to two years. The stock fell 5.2 percent to $121.28.

Other defense companies also dipped. Northrop Grumman fell 2.9 percent to $258.10 and Raytheon gave up 2.1 percent to $171.05.

TAKEOFF: Spirit Airlines surged 16 percent to $59.15 after it forecast a big jump in revenue in the fourth quarter. Investors were hopeful that other airlines might see similar gains. Delta climbed 3.9 percent to $58.92 and United Continental picked up 2.3 percent to $93.89.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: High-dividend communications, utility and consumer goods companies rose. Verizon gained 2.2 percent to $60.47 and AT&T added 1.5 percent to $30.39. Public Service Enterprise Group climbed 1.7 percent to $54.41 and cigarette maker Altria Group rose 1.3 percent to $53.89 as tobacco companies recovered some of their recent losses.

BRISTOL BRUISED: Bristol-Myers Squibb fell after it reported disappointing results from a cancer drug study. The company said the combination of its drugs Yervoy and Opdivo did not improve survival for patients with small cell lung cancer. Bristol-Myers was studying the drug as a maintenance therapy for patients who had already finished a round of chemotherapy.

The stock shed 3.6 percent to $50.83.

TARIFF TURMOIL FOR TECH: Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he expects to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports on Jan. 1. His administration recently imposed a 10 percent tax on those imports, and at the start of the year that’s scheduled to rise to 25 percent. Trump also threatened again to place tariffs on all remaining U.S. imports from China.

The administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods have driven up costs for many businesses, but consumers haven’t felt as much of a sting. Another round of tariffs on products like laptops and computers would change that. Trump is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Group of 20 summit in Argentina later this week.

Tech stocks wobbled. Apple slipped 0.7 percent to $173.48. Apple stock has fallen 25 percent since early October, wiping out almost $300 billion in value. That’s left Apple and Microsoft essentially tied for the title of the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, as investors are valuing each at about $823 billion. It’s been eight years since the two companies were that close in value.

Microsoft hasn’t done any worse than the rest of the stock market in October and November, and for technology companies, that’s been a good result. Its shares rose 0.7 percent to $107.26 Tuesday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 0.1 percent to $51.56 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 1.1 percent to $59.79 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline lost 1.5 percent to $1.42 a gallon and heating oil slipped 0.4 percent to $1.89 a gallon. Natural gas edged up 0.4 percent to $4.26 per 1,000 cubic feet.

BONDS: Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.06 percent from 3.07 percent.

METALS: Gold fell 0.7 percent to $1,213.40 an ounce. Silver declined 0.9 percent to $14.08 an ounce. Copper sank 1.7 percent to $2.71 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 113.77 yen from 113.64 yen. The euro felt to $1.1297 from $1.1328.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 percent and the British FTSE 100 slid 0.3 percent. In France, the CAC 40 lost 0.2 percent.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.3 percent.

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