FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, file photo, the American flag flies above the Wall Street entrance to the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks are mixed early Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, as health care companies including Biogen and Celgene rise, but airlines continue to take steep losses as investors worry about rising costs and the possibility of falling fares. The dollar is weakening further as the U.S. currency remains at three-year lows. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Defense, technology companies lead US stocks higher

May 22, 2017 - 11:24 am

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are higher Monday as the market bounces back from a turbulent week. Defense contractors are making gains and technology and consumer-focused companies are also rising. Ford is up after it replaced CEO Mark Fields, while chemicals maker Huntsman is rising after it agreed to combine with Swiss competitor Clariant.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,388 as of 11:15 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 73 points, or 0.4 percent, to 20,877. The Nasdaq composite gained 30 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,113. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,371.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both set records early last week before worries about growing political uncertainty in Washington, and its potential effects on President Trump's agenda of tax cuts and deregulation, knocked those indexes back from their highs. The S&P 500 is about 1 percent below its highest close, but the Russell 2000 is down more than 3 percent from the record it set one month ago.

AEROSPACE GAINS ALTITUDE: Aerospace and defense companies traded higher after President Trump presided over a $110 billion sale of military equipment to Saudi Arabia. The agreement could expand to $350 billion over 10 years. It appeared to reverse an Obama administration to pause sales of precision-guided munitions to the kingdom. Lockheed Martin climbed $5.35, or 2 percent, to $278.14 and Boeing gained $2.59, or 1.4 percent, to $183.35. Rockwell Automation rose $1.55, or 1 percent, to $158.91.

DRIVEN OFF: Ford replaced CEO Mark Fields as the automaker struggles to keep the traditional parts of its business running smoothly while it remakes itself as a nimble, high-tech provider of new mobility services. Fields was CEO for three years, but under his leadership popular cars like the Fusion sedan became dated and Ford lagged competitors in bringing long-range electric cars to market. New CEO is Jim Hackett, who has led Ford's mobility unit for more than a year.

Ford added 15 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $11.02. The stock is down 9 percent this year.

CHEMISTRY: Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant and Huntsman Corp. are merging to create a company with a market value of $13.8 billion. The company will call itself HuntsmanClariant and Clariant shareholders will own 52 percent of the new company. Huntsman stock was unchanged at $26.71 and Clariant stock rose 5.8 percent in Switzerland.

METAL TESTED: Arconic jumped after the aluminum products company ended a contentious proxy dispute with activist investor Elliott Management. Elliott will get more input as Arconic picks its next CEO, and it will nominate three directors to the company's board. Arconic agreed to nominate two others, and a third board member resigned and was replaced by a candidate Arconic chose. A month ago, Klaus Kleinfeld was ousted as Arconic's chairman and CEO after he sent a threatening letter to Paul Singer, Elliott's founder and Arconic's largest shareholder.

Arconic stock gained 32 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $27.90.

ENERGY: Oil prices continued to rally and benchmark U.S. crude oil added 51 cents, or 1 percent, to $50.84 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 49 cents to $54.10 a barrel in London. However energy companies traded lower. Halliburton lost 79 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $46.99 and Chevron declined 52 cents to $106.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.24 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 110.97 yen from 111.20 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.1243s from $1.1205.

OVERSEAS: In Britain, the FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent. France's CAC rose was little changed and the German DAX dipped 0.1 percent. Japan's market rose following strong trade data. The benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 percent while the South Korean Kospi jumped 0.7 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 0.9 percent.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at

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