Energies, Chemicals Lead Stocks Higher

Energies, Chemicals Lead Stocks Higher

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are rising Tuesday afternoon as energy companies climb in tandem with the price of crude oil. Earnings reports are driving much of the action and sending materials companies higher. Health care stocks are falling on continued scrutiny of drug companies.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,998 as of 12:20 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,092. The Nasdaq composite index gained 1 point to 4,896. The Nasdaq has fallen for three days in a row.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $1.36, or 3.2 percent, to $44 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained $1.27, or 2.9 percent, to $45.75 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline and heating oil also climbed.

Murphy Oil rose $1.07, or 3.2 percent, to $34.59 and Devon Energy gained 79 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $34.74.

HEALTH CARE SLIPS: Drug companies fell as investors looked ahead to the latest Congressional panel on drug prices. The Senate Aging Committee will hold its third meeting on drug prices Wednesday, and on Tuesday the committee said former Valeant Pharmaceuticals executive Robert Schiller and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, an investor in Valeant, will both be questioned.

Investors in drug companies fear that Congressional scrutiny will make it harder for the companies to keep raising drug prices and keep their profits growing. Alexion Pharmaceuticals lost $4.95, or 3.1 percent, to $153.07. Vertex Pharmaceuticals fell $1.53, or 1.8 percent, to $84.13.

DUPONT DOES IT: DuPont picked up $1.66, or 2.5 percent, to $67.63. The chemicals giant expects a larger profit for the year, saying the strong dollar won't hurt its results as much as it predicted. Those results gave a lift to materials companies. Dow Chemical, which is preparing to combine with DuPont, added $1.23, or 2.3 percent, to $53.77.

INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH: Companies that make mining and construction equipment also gained ground.

Manufacturing company Ingersoll-Rand rose $1.66, or 2.6 percent, to $65.73 after it posted a larger-than-expected profit and raised its profit projections for the year. Truck maker Paccar reported a bigger-than-expected profit and gained $2.21, or 3.9 percent, to $58.25. Truck leasing company Ryder System posted a bigger profit and more revenue than analysts projected and added $3.27, or 5 percent, to $68.52.

BP BEATS: Oil company BP's profit was larger than expected and it left its dividend unchanged despite falling earnings and oil prices. Its U.S.-traded stock rose $1.58, or 5 percent, to $33.37.

BROKEN GLASS: Specialty glass maker Corning lost $1.45, or 6.9 percent, to $19.52 after its sales were weaker than expected.

WHIRLPOOL SOAKED: Whirlpool, the appliance maker behind Maytag, KitchenAid and other brands, reported disappointing profit and sales. The company said its business was hurt by the strong dollar. The stock lost $6.69, or 3.6 percent, to $179.35.

NOT SO SWEET: Chocolate maker Hershey cut its profit forecasts after first-quarter its sales were weaker than expected. The stock gave up $1.99, or 2.2 percent, to $89.38.

FRESH: Grocery store chain SuperValu jumped 18 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $5.33 after its profit surpassed estimates.

SAREPTA SKIDS: Drug developer Sarepta Therapeutics plunged after a Food and Drug Administration panel said its muscular dystrophy drug eteplirsen shouldn't be approved. The panelists said evidence didn't show the drug is effective. The stock fell $4.79, or 32 percent, to $10.16.

OVERSEAS: Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent, while Germany's DAX lost 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 slipped 0.3 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 percent and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.5 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices edged lower. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.94 percent from 1.92 percent a day earlier. The dollar rose to 111.32 yen from 111.28 yen. The euro rose to $1.1307 from $1.1261.

(KA)