Stocks Higher: Tech, Health Care Rise

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are opening at record highs Monday morning as technology and health care companies advance. Energy companies are plunging as prices of crude oil and other fuels fall sharply. Nordstrom stock is tumbling after the New York Post said talks to take the department store company private were stalling. Spain's main stock index is dropping after reports of widespread violence and unrest as the Catalan region votes on an independence referendum.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,524 as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 61 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,466. The Nasdaq composite gained 23 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,519. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks jumped 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,498. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Russell closed at record highs Friday, while the Dow is trading above the record it reached in mid-September.

NORDSTROM WOES: Nordstrom slumped following a report that talks to sell the company to a group of investors including the Nordstrom family could fall apart. The New York Post reported that the would-be buyers are having trouble getting enough financing to complete the sale. Nordstrom rallied in recent months after it disclosed the talks. On Monday its stock fell $2.94, or 6.2 percent, to $44.21.

OIL SLICK: Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.36, or 2.6 percent, to $50.31 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, shed $1.14, or 2 percent, to $55.65 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline, heating oil and natural gas prices also sank.

Exxon Mobile gave up 62 cents to $81.36 and Anadarko Petroleum declined 81 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $48.04. Hess shed 91 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $45.98.

EARLY LEADERS: Health insurer UnitedHealth picked up $1.57 to $197.42 and drugmaker AbbVie climbed $1.09, or 1.2 percent, to $89.95. Genetic testing equipment company Illumina gained $3.34, or 1.7 percent, to $202.54.

Chipmaker Intel added 52 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $38.60. PayPal rose 92 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $64.95. Cloud computing company Citrix Systems jumped $2.49, or 3.2 percent, to $79.31.

CHANNEL CHANGER: Shares of Disney and cable company Altice both rose after the two sides resolved a dispute that could have resulted in a blackout of Disney channels in the New York area. Altice runs Optimum cable. Altice USA gained 52 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $27.83 and Disney edged up 94 cents, or 1 percent, to $99.51.

EUROPE: The euro declined and Spanish stocks dropped as investors reviewed an independence vote and unrest in Catalonia. Officials in the region, which includes Barcelona and accounts for a large portion of Spain's economy, say an overwhelming majority of voters supported independence from Spain. The central government says the referendum is invalid and illegal. Close to 900 people were injured in confrontations with police who were trying to shut down the voting, although most of the injuries were not serious. More than 30 police officers were also hurt.

The Spanish IBEX index dropped 1.8 percent.

BONDS: Bond prices moved higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.32 percent from 2.34 percent late Friday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.63 yen from 112.51 yen. The euro fell to $1.1751 from $1.1816.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX advanced 0.3 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.2 percent. The British FTSE 100 index added 0.6 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2 percent. Markets in Hong Kong and South Korea were closed Monday for national holidays.