FILE - This Monday, July 6, 2015, file photo shows a sign for Wall Street carved into the side of a building in New York. World stock markets were mixed on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, as investors waited to see if U.S. politicians could pass tax reform legislation before Christmas. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Energy stocks dive anew, offset tech gains; US indexes mixed

June 21, 2017 - 12:00 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes were mixed in midday trading Wednesday after another dive for energy stocks offset gains for health care and technology stocks.

Bond yields held steady, while stocks in mainland China got a small boost after they got the OK to join a widely followed index of emerging-market stocks.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index was virtually unchanged at 2,437, as of 11:55 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 13 points, or 0.1 percent, at 21,454, and the Nasdaq composite rose 32, or 0.5 percent, to 6,220.

CRUDE WORRIES: The price of oil bounced up and down a day after it sank to its lowest price of the year, hurt by expectations that supplies will continue to outweigh demand. After being up by as much as 1.6 percent earlier in the day, benchmark U.S. crude turned lower and was down 12 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $43.39 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 24 cents to $45.78.

Energy stocks bore the brunt for a second straight day, and those in the S&P 500 fell 0.9 percent, a day after losing 1.2 percent.

SLIDING PROFIT POTENTIAL: The price of oil has now dropped more than 20 percent since late February, breaking into what traders call a "bear market." How much of an impact that will have on the overall stock market will depend on how much it will undercut energy companies' profits.

"The story truly is energy right now," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "We're in the warning area here, between $40 and $44. If we get below $40, I think you'll get people adjusting their expectations."

Accelerating corporate profits have been a big reason for the stock market's gains this year, and energy companies are forecast to have some of the biggest gains.

OPENING UP: Red Hat, an open-source software company, surged to one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500 after reporting better-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter. Its forecast for revenue and earnings this fiscal year also topped analysts' expectations. Its stock rose $8.96, or 10 percent, to $98.92.

FLASHING HIGHER: Adobe Systems jumped $3.13, or 2.2 percent, to $144.04 after reporting stronger revenue and earnings for its latest quarter than analysts expected.

GETTING ACTIVE: La-Z-Boy jumped $4.40, or 16.8 percent, to $30.60 after reporting quarterly earnings that easily topped analysts' expectations. Its customers have been shifting toward higher-price products, such as leather, that mean bigger profits for the company.

CHINA'S ARRIVAL: Chinese shares traded in Shanghai, which have long been difficult for foreign investors to trade, rose 0.5 percent after index provider MSCI said it will include 222 of what are called "Chinese A-shares" in its widely followed Emerging Markets index. The move, which will begin next year, will likely cause big shifts of money into mainland Chinese stocks by mutual funds and other investors that track the index.

MSCI has been considering including A-shares in its index for years but had demurred until now due to a range of concerns. China has since started a "Stock Connect" program that links mainland Chinese stocks with the Hong Kong market to make them more accessible, among other changes.

OTHER MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, France's CAC 40 fell 0.4 percent, Germany's DAX lost 0.3 percent and the FTSE 100 in London slipped 0.3 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.5 percent, South Korea's Kospi lost 0.5 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 0.6 percent.

TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices were flat. The 10-year Treasury yield held steady at 2.16 percent. The two-year yield rose was flat at 1.35 percent, and the 30-year yield held at 2.74 percent.

CURRENCIES: The British pound rose to $1.2663 from $1.2629 late Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.1144 from $1.1128, and the dollar rose to 111.61 Japanese yen from 111.41 yen.

COMMODITIES: Gold rose $1.30 to $1,244.80 per ounce, silver slipped 4 cents to $16.38 per ounce and copper added 4 cents to $2.59 per pound. Natural gas rose 1 cent to $2.92 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil was flat at $1.40 per gallon and wholesale gasoline was virtually unchanged at $1.43 per gallon.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()