US Indexes Back Away From Record Highs

US Indexes Back Away From Record Highs

NEW YORK (AP) -- US stocks are edging mostly lower in early trading Thursday as major indexes back away from record high levels. Gains in banks and technology shares were outweighed by losses in other sectors including health care and industrial stocks. Bond yields climbed, which sent high-dividend stocks lower.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 6 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 19,543 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,239. The Nasdaq composite was up a fraction at 5,393. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks was little changed.

BONDS: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.40 percent from 2.34 percent. That helped send bank stocks higher since higher interest rates will allow banks to charge more for lending money. Goldman Sachs, which is trading at a nine-year high, rose $3.13, or 1.3 percent, to $238.70. Bank of America picked up 48 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $23.05.

UTILITY UPSET: As bond yields rose, investors sold stocks that pay large dividends, such as utility companies and makers of consumer goods. Those stocks are often compared to bonds because their dividends make them attractive to investors who seek income. Duke Energy lost 98 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $95.59. Oreo maker Mondelez fell 44 cents, or 1 percent, to $41.50 and Kraft Heinz gave up 75 cents to $82.20.

LEMON AID: Athletic apparel maker Lululemon raised its annual profit forecast after its third-quarter results came in above Wall Street projections. Its stock jumped $10.55, or 17.6 percent, to $70.39.

SNAPPY DRESSERS: Tailored Brands, the parent of Men's Wearhouse, reported better sales than expected as well as a larger profit. The company said it made progress in turning around the performance of its Jos. A. Bank business and raised its profit guidance. The stock gained $6.72, or 35.5 percent, to $25.65.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 64 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $50.41 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added 52 cents, or 1 percent, to $53.52 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 114.02 yen from 113.85 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0657 from $1.0759.

EURO STIMULUS: The European Central Bank will extend its economic stimulus program to support growth. It will spend almost $600 billion on bond purchases and extended the bond-buying program through the end of 2017. It was scheduled to conclude at the end of March. However the ECB surprised investors by saying it will reduce the size of the monthly purchases after March. It said that is not a sign it is getting ready to phase out the stimulus.

OVERSEAS: France's CAC 40 added 0.3 percent to 4,671 while the German DAX was up 0.6 percent. The FTSE 100 in Britain rose 0.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 surged 1.5 percent and the Kospi in South Korea jumped 2 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.3 percent.