Stocks Shake Early Slide, Turn Higher

Stocks Shake Early Slide, Turn Higher

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are heading toward a fifth daily gain Monday as energy companies jumped along with the price of crude oil and natural gas. Banks and technology companies are down, however. Chipmaker Micron Technology sank 2 percent.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average increased 51 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,057 as of 12:28 p.m Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,002. The Nasdaq composite climbed three points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 4,720.

ENERGY SURGE: The six biggest gainers in the S&P 500 were drillers and other energy-related companies. Murphy Oil rose $3.47, or nearly 15 percent, to $27.17.

IRON SOARS: The price of iron ore jumped $8.76, or 17 percent, to $60.87 on news over the weekend that China plans to run up its deficit to stimulate its economy. The country also lowered its official growth target this year to 6.5 percent to 7 percent and promised more market-opening reforms. The slowdown in China had been rattling markets and unnerving its trading partners as it dampens demand for industrial components and raw materials.

THE QUOTE: "The market is correctly pricing in a lower chance of global recession or U.S. recession or a hard-landing in China," said Brian Nick, head of tactical asset allocation at UBS Wealth Management Americas.

DUPONT JUMP: DuPont rose $1.62, or 2.6 percent, to $64.80. Bloomberg News reported that German chemicals giant BASF is offering to buy the company. DuPont had agreed to merge with Dow Chemical.

BANK WARNING: The Bank for International Settlements warned of a "gathering storm" as central banks run out of room to stimulate their economies. The BIS's chief economist, Claudio Borio, said investor confidence in central banks is "faltering." The BIS is often referred to as the central banks' central bank.

ECB IN FOCUS: Investors are anxious over a policy meeting of the ECB on Thursday. They expect further stimulus from the central bank because inflation across the 19-country eurozone has fallen back below zero. That could include a further cut into negative of the deposit rate, from minus 0.3 percent, and an expansion of its bond-buying program.

EUROPE DOWN: Germany's DAX fell 0.5 percent while France's CAC-40 lost 0.3 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei retreated 0.6 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.1 percent. Seoul's Kospi advanced 0.1 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.66, or 4.7 percent, to $37.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.80, or 4.6 percent, to $40.52 a barrel.

CURRENCY: The euro fell to $1.0980 from $1.0999 and the dollar fell to 113.58 yen from 114.02 yen.

BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.91 percent.

(KA)