Energy Companies Lead US Stocks Higher

Energy Companies Lead US Stocks Higher

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are rising as energy companies climb with the price of oil. Investors are hoping that OPEC countries will soon be able to finalize a deal that would cut oil production and help support prices. Meat producer Tyson Foods is tumbling after it reported weak fourth-quarter results. Major stock indexes are on track to set new records.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,919 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,192. The Nasdaq composite gained 39 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,360. Small-company stocks, which are at record highs already, also continued to climb.

ENERGY: Benchmark New York crude gained $1.11, or 2.4 percent, to $46.80 a barrel while Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.31, or 2.8 percent, to $48.17 a barrel in London. That led to gains for energy companies. Marathon Oil added 84 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $16.46 and Hess climbed $2.21, or 4.3 percent, to $53.18.

NOT SO APPETIZING: Meat producer Tyson Foods tumbled $10.97, or 16.3 percent, to $56.39 after the company's fourth-quarter profit fell far short of Wall Street's forecasts. The company also said CEO Donnie Smith will step down at the end of this year, and company president Tom Hayes will replace him.

OIL DEAL: Sunoco Logistics agreed to buy Energy Transfer Partners in an all-stock deal. The two companies are involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline project. A portion of that pipeline would pump oil under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota. The local Standing Rock Sioux tribute and others are protesting the pipeline, saying they fear a leak could contaminate the drinking water on its reservation and that it could disturb sacred sites.

Despite the deal, Energy Transfer Partners lost $1.78, or 4.5 percent, to $37.59, but its general partner, Energy Transfer Equity picked up $1.18, or 6.8 percent, to $18.47. Sunoco Logistics dipped $1.57, or 6 percent, to $24.62.

CURRENCIES: The dollar, which is at a 13-year high, gave up some of its recent gains against some other currencies. The euro rose to $1.0624 from $1.0599. The dollar edged up to 110.94 yen from 110.63 yen.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.32 percent from 2.35 percent.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX picked up 0.5 percent while France's CAC-40 index rose 0.6 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain was 0.1 percent higher. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.8 percent. South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.4 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up less than 0.1 percent.

(KA)