US Stocks Edge Lower in Early Trade

US Stocks Edge Lower in Early Trade

(AP) -- U.S. stock indexes edged lower in early trading Tuesday, led by declines in phone and utilities companies. Banks were up the most. Energy stocks also rose as crude oil prices headed higher. Investors had their eye on the latest company earnings and deal news.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,435 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,392. The Nasdaq composite lost 19 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,227. The Russell 2000 of small-company stocks gave up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,414.

APPETIZING RESULTS: Darden Restaurants rose 3.3 percent after the chain reported earnings that were better than analysts expected. The stock added $2.98 to $93.06.

DIALING A DEAL: Sprint climbed 5.8 percent following a published report suggesting the mobile phone company is in talks with Charter Communications and Comcast Corp. on a deal that could enable the cable operators to buy a stake in Sprint. Sprint gained 46 cents to $8.47. Comcast slid 25 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $39.34, while Charter dipped 36 cents to $333.29.

FINED: Alphabet, Google's parent company, slid 1 percent after the European Union slapped the online search giant with a $2.7 billion fine. The EU alleges that the company breached antitrust rules with its online shopping service. Alphabet said it is considering an appeal. Alphabet shares fell $10.97 to $961.12.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 44 cents, or 1 percent, to $43.82 per barrel in New York. Brent, the international standard, was up 50 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $46.54 per barrel in London.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.19 percent from 2.13 percent late Monday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.93 yen from 111.89 yen late Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1287 from $1.1181.

MARKETS ABROAD: European stock markets headed lower as the euro surged after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's latest remarks displayed optimism over the future of the economy in the 19-country eurozone. Germany's DAX was down 0.7 percent, while France's CAC 40 was 0.8 percent lower. The FTSE 100 of leading British shares was down 0.2 percent. Major indexes in Asia were mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged 0.1 percent lower.

(KA)