Stocks Higher in Early Trade

Stocks Higher in Early Trade

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are higher in early trading on Wall Street Thursday. Apple is leading technology stocks higher again. Energy companies are edging higher along with the price of crude oil. Retailers are slipping after the government said shoppers cut back on spending in August, while phone companies are taking losses as bond yields rise.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 68 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,103 as of 10:25 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,133. The index has fallen five days out of the last six, a 2.8-percent drop. The Nasdaq composite added 36 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,210.

SHOPPING'S DROPPING: Americans spent less money at car dealers and furniture and building materials stores last month. The Commerce Department said total retail sales fell 0.3 percent in August, which ended a streak of four consecutive monthly gains. That pulled retailers lower.

V.F. Corp., the parent of North Face, Timberland and Wrangler, gave up $1.80, or 3.1 percent, to $56.24. Department store Kohl's fell 69 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $41.74 and Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrances shed $4.75, or 2 percent, to $232.53.

OIL PRICES: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 3 cents to $43.61 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 31 cents to $46.16 a barrel in London. Noble Energy rose 49 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $43.49 and Oneok gained 40 cents to $47.10.

RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD: Goodyear Tire & Rubber climbed after the company boosted its dividend and said it plans to return $4 billion to shareholders over the next few years. The stock rose $1.14, or 3.7 percent, to $31.95.

APPLE PICKED: Apple made its fourth strong gain in a row as investors became more optimistic about early sales of its newest iPhone models. Its stock added $2.88, or 2.6 percent, to $114.65, its highest price of 2016. The stock is up 11.5 percent so far this week. Other technology companies also rose. Hewlett Packard Enterprise gained 32 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $21.68 and Global Payments picked up $2.11, or 2.9 percent, to $75.63.

BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.72 percent from 1.70 percent. That made dividend-paying stocks less appealing, and phone companies took losses after a couple of strong days. AT&T slipped 5 cents to $39.84 and Verizon lost 13 cents to $51.36.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 102.63 yen from 102.42 yen. The euro dipped to $1.1230 from $1.1249.

OVERSEAS: The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares traded 0.2 percent higher. Germany's DAX slid 0.3 percent while the CAC 40 of France fell 0.6 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.3 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent.