Written by Associated Press
(AP) — U.S. stocks are changing course Tuesday as investors put an end to a two-day drop for technology companies. Major stock indexes are near record highs again as energy companies, banks, and retailers like Amazon also rise. Investors are buying companies that stand to benefit from faster economic growth.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 12 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,441 as of 3:35 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 94 points, or 0.4 percent, to 21,329. The Nasdaq composite, which has a large concentration of technology companies, rose 51 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,226. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 6 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,425.
The S&P 500 is currently above the record high it set earlier this month and the Dow and Russell 2000 are above the highs they set Friday. On the New York Stock Exchange, two stocks are rising for every one that is falling.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: Technology companies got back some of their losses from a steep slide over the last two days.
Facebook rose $2.35, or 1.6 percent, to $150.79 while Microsoft gained 91 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $70.69. Elsewhere hard drive maker Western Digital added $3.19, or 3.7 percent, to $89.83.
Tech companies have done far better than the rest of the market over the last year but suffered a big decline Friday. They took another loss Monday, although they started to recover late in the day. Big tech companies like Apple and Alphabet have been responsible for a huge portion of the stock market’s gains this year.
LEADERS: Retailers traded higher. Amazon picked up $17.07, or 1.8 percent, to $981.98 and Best Buy rose $1.08, or 1.9 percent, to $57.86 as consumer-focused companies rose. Basic materials companies, which make products including chemicals, paints, and packaging, rose as well.
Financial companies also rose. Financial services firm State Street jumped $1.50, or 1.7 percent, to $88.61 while regional bank Comerica added $1.41, or 1.9 percent, to $73.95. Goldman Sachs advanced $2.09 to $224.01.
ENERGY: Energy companies joined the gains as the price of oil reversed an early loss. U.S. crude futures added 38 cents to settle at $46.46 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 43 cents to $48.72 a barrel in London.
Halliburton climbed $1.11, or 2.5 percent, to $46.03 and oil refiner Tesoro rose $2.85, or 3.1 percent, to $94.04.
Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.50 a gallon. Heating oil finished up 2 cents at $1.45 a gallon. Natural gas slumped 6 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $2.97 per 1,000 cubic feet.
FED WATCH: The Federal Reserve is meeting, and on Wednesday, investors expect the central bank to raise interest rates for the third time since December. Brian Rehling, co-head of global fixed income strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said investors will scrutinize the Fed’s views on inflation and how aggressive it will be in raising interest rates in the future.
“The market’s going to be looking to see if they’re still on track,” he said. Rehling added that investors also want to know about the Fed’s plan to start reducing its huge portfolio of bonds. He doesn’t think that will have much effect on the bond market.
HARD SCIENCE: Information technology company Science Applications International Corp. slumped after its sales fell short of Wall Street’s projections. The company said tight budgets for customers are hurting its sales, and greater costs affected its profits. The stock lost $7.64, or 9.4 percent, to $73.80.
CAKE POP: Restaurant chain Cheesecake Factory said sales at older restaurants have fallen in the current quarter. Those sales, an important measurement of retailer performance, are down about 1 percent while FactSet says analysts expected growth of 1.7 percent. Cheesecake Factory said its weekly sales have been uneven because consumers are feeling uncertainty. The company said the shaky sales will hurt its earnings, and the stock lost $5.64, or 9.7 percent, to $52.69.
NO MORE YODELING: Verizon officially bought Yahoo’s internet business for $4.5 billion. That brought an end to Yahoo’s 21 years as a publicly traded company. Yahoo is being combined with AOL in a new Verizon unit called Oath, which is run by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. Verizon stock lost 76 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $46.43.
BONDS: Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.21 percent from 2.22 percent late Monday.
METALS: Gold slipped 30 cents to $1,268.60 an ounce. Silver fell 18 cents, or 1 percent, to $16.77 an ounce. Copper dipped 2 cents to $2.60 a pound.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.96 yen from 109.79 yen. The euro inched up to $1.1212 from $1.1208.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX gained 0.6 percent and the CAC 40 in France advanced 0.4 percent. In Britain the FTSE 100 index lost 0.2 percent. Asian markets finished mostly higher. In South Korea the Kospi rose 0.7 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 0.6 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.1 percent.