The major U.S. stock indexes wavered in early trading Friday as losses by technology companies mostly outweighed gains by oil companies. Financial stocks also headed lower as bond yields declined. Oil prices were flat.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down less than 1 point to 2,500 as of 10:18 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 2 points to 22,361. The Nasdaq composite slid less than 1 point to 6,422. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,445.
NORTH KOREA: Geopolitical tensions ratcheted up after President Donald Trump authorized stiffer sanctions in response to North Korea’s nuclear weapons advances, drawing a furious response from Pyongyang. Trump expanded the Treasury Department’s ability to target anyone conducting significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea, and to ban them from interacting with the U.S. financial system. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un retaliated by calling Trump “deranged” and saying he’ll “pay dearly” for his threats.
BOND MARKET: Bond prices rose as tensions with North Korea escalated. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.25 percent from 2.28 percent late Thursday.
BIG DECLINERS: Technology companies and banks were among the biggest decliners. Apple was down $1.87, or 1.2 percent, to $151.52. Synchrony Financial slipped 18 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $29.08.
ROCKY OUTLOOK: Compass Minerals slid 8.5 percent after the mining company cut its annual profit forecast after a partial ceiling cave-in at a rock salt mine in Ontario that will slow operations for six weeks. The stock was down $5.87 to $63.63.
DIAL-A-DEAL: Sprint climbed 3.6 percent after Reuters reported the wireless carrier is close to signing a deal with rival T-Mobile. Shares in Sprint added 29 cents to $8.32. T-Mobile gained 92 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $64.31.
IN GEAR: CarMax rose 5.5 percent after the used car retailer’s latest quarterly results beat analysts’ forecasts. The stock gained $3.80 to $72.64.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 5 cents to $50.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 25 cents to $56.34 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 111.89 yen from 112.55 yen on Thursday. The euro climbed to $1.1970 from $1.1934.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX slipped 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 gained 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.7 percent. In Asia, markets finished unevenly after S&P downgraded the credit rating for China and Hong Kong. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.8 percent.