Stocks Edge Higher Early Friday

(AP) -- The major U.S. stock indexes edged higher in early trading Friday as gains in health care companies and banks outweighed losses elsewhere. Technology stocks and utilities were laggards. Crude oil prices headed lower.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,728 as of 10:09 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 101 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,838. The Nasdaq added 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,408. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,606.

UNDER SCRUTINY: Symantec slumped 33.2 percent to $19.51 after the security software company revealed an internal investigation that could delay its annual report. The company also said the matter has been referred to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Symantec also gave weak profit forecasts.

REVIEW THIS: Yelp fell 8.3 percent to $43.79 after the online review portal gave an outlook for its current quarter fell short of analysts' expectations.

ON THE HOOK: Pfizer rose 0.9 percent to $35.36 and Merck gained 1 percent to $58.64 as investors waited for President Donald Trump to announce plans intended to control drug prices.

ENERGY: Oil futures were trading near their highest level since 2014 as President Donald Trump's decision this week to re-impose sanctions Iran, the world's fifth-biggest oil producer, reverberated. Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped 18 cents to $71.18 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 18 cents to $77.29.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held at 2.96 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.19 yen from 109.37 yen on Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1958 from $1.1927.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: European stock indexes were mostly lower after a strong rally saw many indexes strike multi-week highs. Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent and France's CAC 40 slid 0.3 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.1 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.2 percent and South Korea's Kospi added 0.6 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.0 percent.

(BE)