NOV. 23, 2016, 11:07 A.M. E.S.T.
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are mostly lower Wednesday after setting records the last two days, but the Dow Jones industrial average continues to reach all-time highs. Technology stocks are lower after HP released a weak profit forecast, while strong results for Deere are lifting industrial companies.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,059 as of 1 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index skidded 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,201. The Nasdaq composite lost 16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,370. Trading was relatively light ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. markets will be closed Thursday and will close early on Friday.
RISING RUSSELL RECORDS: The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks, which has risen for the previous 13 trading days, fell in early trading but recovered and moved 0.3 percent higher as of early afternoon. The index has closed at a record high for eight consecutive days. It’s up 18 percent this year, more than twice as much as the S&P 500, which tracks large companies.
CALL TECH SUPPORT: Printer and PC maker HP lost ground after it issued a profit forecast that disappointed investors. Its stock gave up 91 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $15.04. Other technology companies also traded lower. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, slid $8.32, or 1.1 percent, to $776.68 and Microsoft lost 73 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $60.39.
OH, DEERE! Agricultural and construction equipment maker Deere reported a bigger profit than analysts expected. Deere’s business has been hurt by a slowdown construction and low commodity prices, which have caused farmers to cut back on purchases of equipment. The stock advanced $9.48, or 10.3 percent, to $101.49 and reached an all-time high.
START YOUR ENGINES: Industrial companies are trading at all-time highs and continued to rise after Deere’s report. Construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar gained $2.30, or 2.5 percent, to $955.92. United Technologies, which makes elevators, jet engines and other things, added $1.12, or 1 percent, to $108.06 and construction and technical services company Jacobs Engineering Group climbed $1.44, or 2.4 percent, to $60.76.
BONDS: Bond prices dropped, sending yields higher. The yield on the 2-year Treasury note rose to 1.13 percent from 1.09 percent. The yield on that note is at its highest in more than six years. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.36 percent from 2.31 percent, its highest in almost a year and a half.
MAKING BANK: Higher bond yields are linked to higher interest rates, so the rising yields helped bank stocks turn higher. Capital One rose $1.51, or 1.8 percent, to $84.10 and First Bancorp jumped 14 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $6.72. The S&P 500 financial index is up 11 percent since the election while the S&P 500 itself is up 3 percent.
As bond yields rose, investors sold shares of real estate investment trusts, utilities, and companies that sell household goods. Those companies are sometimes compared to bonds because they pay large dividends. When bonds yields rise, those stocks become less appealing to investors seeking income. AvalonBay Communities fell $3.23, or 2 percent, to $159.17 and American Water Works shed $1.39, or 1.9 percent, to $72.75.
ELI LILLY TUMBLES: Eli Lilly dropped after saying a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease failed in a clinical trial. The company said solanezumab did not slow down patients’ mental decline compared to a placebo. Lilly fell $8.16, or 10.7 percent, to $67.83, its lowest value in more than two years. Other drugmakers also slumped. Biogen sank $13.58, or 4.3 percent, to $304.53.
OUT OF STYLE? Urban Outfitters fell after its quarterly profit and sales came up short of expectations. Its stock lost $3.64, or 9.3 percent, to $35.37.
CURRENCY: The dollar climbed higher and rose to 112.52 yen from 111.14 yen. The euro fell to $1.0559 from $1.0624. The U.S. currency hasn’t been this strong since March 2003.
LET’S PLAY: Video game retailer GameStop jumped after its quarterly results matched Wall Street forecasts. Its stock gained $2.07, or 8.6 percent, to $26.18. Video game publisher Electronic Arts rose $1.90, or 2.4 percent, to $79.65.
ENERGY: Oil prices recovered after some early losses. Benchmark U.S. crude added 12 cents to $48.15 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 8 cents to $49.20 a barrel in London.
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS: Copper prices continued to rally. The metal’s price is linked to economic expansion because of its use in construction and other areas, and it’s at its highest price in more than a year. It jumped in late October and November, when the broader market was falling as investors wondered about the outcome of the presidential election, and at one point it closed higher for 14 days in a row.
The metal’s price kept rising after the election as investors hope demand will increase under a potential infrastructure stimulus from President-elect Donald Trump.
Copper picked up 6 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $2.61 a pound. Gold and copper producer Freeport-McMoRan surged $1.21, or 8 percent, to $16.33.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX index shed 0.5 percent and the CAC 40 in France dropped 0.4 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 was little changed. The Kospi in South Korea advanced 0.2 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended unchanged. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
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