Stocks Move Higher in Early Trade

(AP) -- U.S. stocks climbed broadly in early trading Tuesday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average past the 26,000-point mark for the first time. Technology, health care and financial stocks accounted for much of the market's gains. Energy companies were the only laggard. Investors were sizing up the latest company earnings and deal news after returning from a long holiday weekend.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 19 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,805 as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 265 points, or 1 percent, to 26,069. The Nasdaq added 65 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,326. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 9 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,601.

EARNINGS WATCH: Investors were watching for the impact of Washington's latest tax changes on U.S. companies as earnings season for the final quarter of 2017 gets into full swing. Many multinational corporations are taking one-off charges for bringing home money held abroad. But investors expect them to benefit in the long run from the decision to cut the standard tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and are bidding up their share prices.

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BIG CHARGE: Citigroup rose 1 percent after the bank reported an $18.3 billion loss for the fourth quarter due to the new tax law. Excluding the one-time charges, Citigroup earned a profit. The stock was up 71 cents to $77.55.

HEALTHY QUARTER: UnitedHealth Group gained 2.4 percent after its said earnings more than doubled in the final quarter of 2017. The nation's largest insurer also hiked its forecast well beyond expectations, largely due to help from the federal tax overhaul. The stock picked up $5.60 to $234.24.

HIGH-VOLTAGE BUYOUT: Energizer Holdings surged 13.1 percent after the company said it will acquire the battery and lighting assets of Spectrum Brands, which includes the Varta and Rayovac battery brands. Energizer shares added $6.78 to $58.40. Spectrum gained $4.51, or 3.7 percent, to $124.99.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.54 percent from 2.55 percent late Friday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 17 cents to $64.13 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 57 cents to $69.69 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged higher after days of heavy losses. The U.S. currency was up to 110.82 yen from 110.52 yen on Monday. The euro slipped to $1.2220 from $1.2181.

THE BITCOIN TRADE: The price of bitcoin was down about 12 percent in morning trading Tuesday to $11,926, according to the tracking site CoinDesk. Bitcoin futures on the Cboe Futures Exchange were down 13.3 percent to $11,970. The futures allow investors to make bets on the future price of bitcoin. The price of the digital currency has soared last year, having begun 2017 under $1,000.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe were mixed. Germany's DAX gained 0.8 percent and France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent. London's FTSE 100 shed 0.1 percent. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.8 percent. Seoul's Kospi rose 0.7 percent. India's Sensex was unchanged, while markets in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia gained. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.5 percent.

(BE)

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