Banks Pull Stocks Higher Wednesday

Banks Pull Stocks Higher Wednesday

(AP) -- U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Wednesday, recouping some of the losses from a day earlier. Banks and other financial companies were up the most. Utilities were the only laggard. Investors eyed the latest company earnings and deal news.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 12 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,431 as of 10:06 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 113 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,424. The Nasdaq composite added 14 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,161. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks picked up 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,411. The market was coming off a broad sell-off led by technology stocks.

BANKING ON FINANCIALS: Banks were trading higher for the second day in a row amid higher expectations of rising interest rates. Higher rates let banks make bigger profits on mortgages and other types of loans. Bank of America led the gainers in the S&P 500, climbing 66 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $23.93. People's United Financial added 27 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $17.58.

BEAT THE STREET: General Mills rose 2.6 percent after the maker of Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt and other packaged foods served up fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded Wall Street's expectations. The stock picked up $1.46 to $56.98.

DONE DEAL: Spectranetics surged 26.2 percent after Dutch electronics and health care technology company Philips said it agreed to buy the medical device company for $38.50 a share, or $1.68 billion. Spectranetics gained $7.98 to $38.38.

TURBULENCE AHEAD: AeroVironment slid 3 percent after the maker of unmanned aircraft gave a disappointing revenue forecast. The stock fell 9 cents to $32.40.

ENERGY: Oil futures were mixed. Benchmark U.S. crude was down 5 cents to $44.19 a barrel in New York. The contract gained 86 cents on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, was up 5 cents to $46.97 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.20 from 112.15 yen late Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1349 from $1.1347.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.23 percent from 2.21 percent late Tuesday.

MARKETS ABROAD: Major stock indexes in Europe were mixed as investors fretted over the prospect of tighter monetary policy from major central banks. Germany's DAX was down 0.3 percent, while the CAC 40 of France was down 0.1 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.6 percent. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent, while Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.5 percent. South Korea's Kospi shed 0.4 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.7 percent. Shares fell in Taiwan and most of Southeast Asia.