Stocks Shake Off Two-Day Slump

Stocks Shake Off Two-Day Slump

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are climbing in early trading Wednesday as investors buy beaten-down stocksafter two days of losses. Energy companies and suppliers of raw materials, heavily sold this year, rose sharply along with the price of oil and other commodities. Dow Chemical and DuPont soared following reports the two were in talks to combine, while Costco fell after reporting disappointing earnings.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 146 points, or 0.8 percent, to 17,714 at 10:16 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 11 points, or 0.6 percent, at 2,074. The Nasdaq composite was flat at 5,096.

COSTCO MISSES: Costco Wholesale led a drop in consumer staples stocks after reporting weaker earnings than analysts were expecting. The discount chain fell $10.10, or 6 percent, to $158.77.

DOW DEAL? Dow Chemical and DuPont each jumped 11 percent after several news reports that the two chemical giants are talking of combining. Dow Chemical rose $5.70 to $56.60. DuPont climbed $7.57 to $74.17.

SPINOFF SCRAPPED: Yahoo gained 58 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $35.43 after the struggling Internet company said it was scrapping its plan to spin off its prized stake in China's Alibaba Group. Yahoo said it will instead explore breaking off the rest of its business into a new company.

EUROPE MIXED: Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 shed 1.1 percent. Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent.

VW ROARS: Volkswagen jumped 7 percent after the German carmaker said that a problem with carbon dioxide emissions is far smaller than initially suspected. It had earlier noted "unexplained inconsistencies" in emissions from as many as 800,000 vehicles. The case comes on top of the scandal over its cheating on U.S. emissions tests for a different gas, nitrogen oxide.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.0 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.5 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.1 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: The price of U.S. government bonds fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.25 percent from 2.22 percent late Tuesday. The U.S. dollar fell to 122.06 yen, down from 123.05 yen. The euro rose to $1.0973 from $1.0890.

(KA)