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U.S. Stocks Inch Higher as Health Care Companies Gain Ground

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 3 cents to $51.10 a barrel in New York
By The News · 23 of May 2017 10:37:22
Men walk past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Men walk past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, May 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi), photo: AP/Shizuo Kambayashi

U.S. stocks are slightly higher Tuesday morning as health care companies including makers of scientific instruments and drugs rise. Beverage makers are also gaining, leading household products makers upward. Stocks rose for the past three trading days following a steep loss last Wednesday.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,395 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,911. The Nasdaq composite gave up 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,130. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks fell 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,373.

NETWORKING: Nokia climbed after the company said it settled its legal disputes with Apple. The two companies said they will work together and that Nokia will get a cash payment from Apple, but it didn’t disclose specifics. The Finnish company was once the biggest cellphone maker in the world, but it sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2014 and is now a networks provider. Its U.S. shares rose 37 cents, or 5.9 percent, to $6.58 Tuesday. Apple dipped 10 cents to $153.89.

SCOPE THIS OUT: Scientific instrument maker Agilent Technologies rose after its second-quarter profit and sales beat Wall Street estimates. The company also raised its annual profit forecast. Its shares gained $2.92, or 5.2 percent, to $59.

Elsewhere, industrial and medical device maker Danaher picked up $1.76, or 2.1 percent, to $84.76 and Thermo Fisher Scientific rose $1.19 to $173.30.

BLOWING A GASKET: Auto parts retailer AutoZone stumbled after its results were weaker than expected. The company said costs were higher and sales at older locations fell. Its stock fell $57.43, or 8.7 percent, to $602.06. Competitor O’Reilly Automotive sank $11.20, or 4.5 percent, to $237.26 and Advance Auto Parts gave up $5.08, or 3.4 percent, to $142.29. All three stocks have dropped this year as investors worried about slowing car sales.

DRINK UP: Coca-Cola gained 41 cents to $44.59 and Monster Beverage climbed $1.19, or 2.5 percent, to $49.53 as beverage companies and other household goods companies gained ground. PepsiCo rose 37 cents to $115.07.

POWER UP: Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software jumped after its profit and sales in the fourth quarter surpassed analyst expectations. The company’s games include the “Grand Theft Auto” ”NBA2K” and “Sid Meier’s Civilization” franchises. The strong results canceled out a delay for another key game, “Red Dead Redemption 2,” which will be published next spring instead of later this year. Take-Two stock jumped $4.93, or 7.1 percent, to $73.97. It has doubled over the last year.

Rival Activision Blizzard added 80 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $57.92 and Electronic Arts rose 71 cents to $109.10.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 3 cents to $51.10 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 4 cents to $53.83 a barrel in London.

OVERSEAS: European stocks traded slightly higher after key surveys of business activity and optimism hit their highest levels in years. That left investors hopeful that unemployment will start to decline and European economies will continue to gain strength.

Germany’s DAX added 0.6 percent and the CAC 40 in France rose 0.8 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain was 0.2 percent higher. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.1 percent. The South Korean Kospi gained 0.7 percent.

BONDS: Bond prices inched higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.24 percent from 2.25 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 111.04 yen from 111.20 yen. The euro declined to $1.1226 from $1.1234.