Stocks Wavering Early Wednesday 07/18 10:22
U.S. stocks are mixed in early trading Wednesday as energy companies fall
with the price of oil, but industrial companies including railroads and
airlines climb after a round of strong second-quarter reports.
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are mixed in early trading Wednesday as energy
companies fall with the price of oil, but industrial companies including
railroads and airlines climb after a round of strong second-quarter reports.
KEEPING SCORE: At 10 a.m. Eastern time, the S&P 500 index was unchanged at
2,809. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 23 points, or 0.1 percent, to
25,143. The Nasdaq composite fell 13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,841. The
Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 2 points, or 0.2 percent,
GET MOVING: Transportation companies were off to a powerful start. United
Continental surpassed Wall Street projections and said strong demand is
resulting in higher prices as the summer travel season sets in. Its stock
surged 7.4 percent to $78, while Delta jumped 3.9 percent to $53.13 and
American rose 4 percent to $38.86.
Railroad operator CSX said its profit climbed 72 percent in its latest
quarter as it kept cutting costs and improving its operations. The results were
stronger than analysts expected and the stock added 5.6 percent to $68.4. Other
railroads also climbed, with Union Pacific gaining 1.5 percent to $140.37.
Maintenance supply company W.W. Grainger made the biggest gain on the S&P
500 after it blew past analysts' estimates in the latest quarter. The company
posted strong growth in the U.S. with more business with both large and medium
size customers and it raised its forecasts for the year. The stock jumped 9
percent to $332.28.
BERKSHIRE BOUNCE: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate said it's
changing its policies on stock repurchases, which raised investors' hopes that
Berkshire will soon do exactly that. The stock jumped 4.1 percent to $198.19.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 1.1 percent to $67.34 a barrel in New
York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 0.9 percent to $71.49
a barrel in London. U.S. crude has tumbled 9 percent in July but is still up
almost 40 percent over the last 12 months.
Chevron lost 1.5 percent to $120.04 and Devon Energy fell 1.7 percent to
MAKING MONEY: Investment bank Morgan Stanley said its trading and investment
banking businesses did well in the second quarter. Financial companies are
continuing to benefit from lower tax bills. The stock rallied 3.7 percent to
ABBOTT ADVANCING: Abbott rose 3 percent to $64.70 after the maker of infant
formula, medical devices and drugs posted beat Wall Street forecasts in the
GOOGLING ANOTHER FINE: The European Union fined Google a record $5 billion
Wednesday for using the market dominance of its Android mobile operating system
to force handset makers to install Google apps, reducing choice for consumers.
A year ago, EU regulators fined Google $2.8 billion for favoring its shopping
listings in search results.
Shares of Alphabet, Google's parent company, declined along with other tech
stocks. It lost 0.4 percent to $1,208.10.
BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury
note remained at 2.86 percent.
OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX added 0.7 percent and the British FTSE 100 added 0.7
percent as well. The CAC 40 in France gained 0.5 percent.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.4 percent and the Kospi in South Korea
lost 0.3 percent as the country's government downgraded its forecasts for job
creation and growth. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.2 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar inched up to 112.84 yen from 112.83 yen. The euro
fell to $1.1635 from $1.1664.