(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Market Watch: US stocks wobble; tech and retailers rise but banks fall

June 05, 2018 - 10:46 am

By MARLEY JAY, AP Markets Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly higher Tuesday after posting solid gains over the last two days. Technology companies and consumer-focused companies rose further and the smallest companies were also making gains. Banks slipped as bond yields decreased and health care companies also fell. Twitter rose after being added to the S&P 500 index.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 added 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,748 as of 3:15 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 15 points to 24,798. The Nasdaq composite rose 27 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,633 and the Russell 2000 climbed 10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,663.

The Nasdaq, which includes a heavy weighting of technology companies, and the Russell, an index comprised of smaller and more U.S.-focused companies, both finished at record highs Monday. The S&P 500 will have to rise another 4.5 percent to equal the record it set on Jan. 26, and the Dow will have to rally more than 7 percent to reach the mark it set the same day.

Most of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange were trading higher Tuesday afternoon.

JOB OPENINGS: The Labor Department said the number of available jobs rose in April, and for the first time since records began in December 2000 there are more job openings than unemployed Americans. That could give workers more leverage for pay raises, while high levels of employment and greater consumer spending are expected to lead to faster economic growth in the coming months.

Retailers helped lead the way Tuesday as more of them reported quarterly results. G-III Apparel Group climbed 9.4 percent to $46.90 after it raised its annual profit and sales forecast following a strong first quarter. Ascena Retail shook off early losses to trade higher.

Bigger retailers and consumer-focused companies also rose. Amazon was on track for another record high as it rose 2 percent to $1,698.50 while Target gained 2.6 percent to $78.42 and Macy's jumped 7.1 percent to $39.74.

TECH LEADERS: Chipmaker Texas instruments added 1.5 percent to $117.50 and eBay gained 2.6 percent to $40.09. Apple, which also set a record high Monday, continued to climb. It advanced 0.7 percent to $193.10.

BITTER BREW: Starbucks fell after Howard Schultz said he's stepping down as the coffee chain's chairman. Schultz has been chairman of the company since 2000 and oversaw enormous expansion for Starbucks over that time. He stepped away as CEO in 2000 but returned in 2008, and relinquished that title to Kevin Johnson in 2017. The stock lost 2.4 percent to $55.71.

ENERGY: Oil prices were mixed. Crude hit a three-year high of $72 a barrel on May 21 but has declined sharply over the past two weeks. U.S. crude picked up 1.2 percent to $65.52 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 0.6 percent to $74.81 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline lost 0.8 percent to $2.11 a gallon. Heating oil slipped 0.5 percent to $2.14 a gallon. Natural gas sank 1.4 percent to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

FAV and RT: S&P Dow Jones Indices said late Monday that Twitter will be added to the benchmark S&P 500 index as of Thursday after Monsanto officially becomes part of Bayer. Twitter rose 4.9 percent to $39.76. Netflix, which will become part of the S&P 100 index, rose 1.4 percent to $366.85.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.92 percent from 2.94 percent.

Financial companies fell in tandem with bond yields. Lower yields force interest rates down on mortgages and other kinds of loans, which means lower profits for banks. Morgan Stanley lost 0.9 percent to $51.09 and Capital One gave up 1.3 percent to $94.36.

BIOTECH BOOST: Mylan climbed 4.7 percent to $40.31 after federal regulators approved its version of Amgen's anti-infection drug Neulasta. The Mylan drug, Fulphila, is called a biosimilar, meaning it's the generic equivalent of a complex biotech drug, and it's approved to reduce the risks of infections during treatment for cancer. Amgen lost 2.1 percent to $181.61.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.72 yen from 109.58 yen. The euro slipped to $1.715 from $1.1719.

METALS: Gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,302.20 an ounce. Silver added 0.7 percent to $16.54 an ounce. Copper jumped 2 percent to $3.20 a pound.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX rose 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 dipped 0.2 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.7 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.3 percent. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent.

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