Techs, Banks Leading Stocks Higher

Techs, Banks Leading Stocks Higher

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are higher Monday with big technology and consumer-focused companies like Apple and Amazon leading the way. Banks are rising with bond yields after Congress agreed to a deal that will keep the government operating for the rest of the fiscal year. That averts a shutdown that could have affected many businesses that work with the government.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,389 as of 1:25 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 2 points to 20,938 as Boeing and IBM struggled. The Nasdaq composite rose 40 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,087. That put the index on track for another record close. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks gained 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,404.

LEADERS: Technology companies rose again. Apple climbed $2.95, or 2.1 percent, to $146.60 and Facebook added $1.71, or 1.1 percent, to $151.96. Apple will report its first-quarter results after the market closes on Tuesday and Facebook will make its report late Wednesday. Tech stocks have done far better than the rest of the market this year. The S&P 500 technology index is up almost 16 percent while the S&P 500 itself is up almost 7 percent.

Consumer-focused companies also rose, as online retailer Amazon.com picked up $21.83, or 2.4 percent, to $946.82.

BANKS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.33 percent from 2.29 percent late Friday. That sent interest rates higher and helped bank stocks rise. Capital One Financial is up 95 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $81.33 and Citizens Financial rose 53 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $37.10.

Bank stocks briefly stumbled in the afternoon, then recovered, after President Donald Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News that he is open to the idea of breaking up the nation's largest banks. However investors don't appear overly concerned about that possibility as companies like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase were still trading higher.

Overall, investors felt more comfortable taking risks on stocks. In addition to selling bonds, they sold high-dividend stocks including utilities, phone companies and household goods retailers.

TRIBUNE TALKS? Tribune Media rose after the Financial Times reported that 21st Century Fox and Blackstone may make a joint takeover bid for the company. Tribune Media has stakes in Food Network, WGN cable network and owns TV stations. Tribune stock gained $2.09, or 5.7 percent, to $38.65. The companies declined to comment. Sinclair Broadcast Group is also reported to be interested in buying Tribune.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 64 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $48.69 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 65 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $51.40 a barrel in London. The prices of wholesale gasoline, heating oil and natural gas slipped as well.

GROUNDED: Aerospace companies struggled after aircraft parts distributor Wesco Aircraft Holdings gave a weak second-quarter forecast. The company also said its president and CEO retired. Its stock tumbled $2.25, or 18.5 percent, to $9.90 while Boeing fell $2.08, or 1.1 percent, to $182.75 and aircraft and helicopter maker Textron gave up 33 cents to $46.33.

Industrial companies lagged the rest of the market overall. The Institute for Supply Management said output by U.S. factories grew for the eighth straight month, but the pace was slower than the last few months and the result was not as good as experts expected. New orders and hiring grew more slowly in April.

CONSUMER SPENDING: The Commerce Department said overall spending by consumers was unchanged last month as people spent less on long-lasting goods like cars. That type of spending has been weak this year and hasn't budged the last two months, a key reason economic growth was slow over the first few months of 2017.

Last week the Labor Department said the U.S. economy turned in its weakest performance in three years in the January-March quarter. Overall the economy grew 0.7 percent over those months. On Friday the agency will release its April jobs report.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.80 yen from 111.44 yen. The euro advanced to $1.0902 from $1.0895.

OVERSEAS: Many markets in Asia and Europe were closed for May Day. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was an exception and it gained 0.6 percent. Stocks in Japan were helped by a weaker yen and strong readings in a manufacturing survey.

(KA)