Retailers, Airlines Lift Stock Higher

(AP) -- Retailers and airlines helped lift U.S. stocks broadly higher Monday, extending the market's gains from last week.

Consumer-focused companies and industrial stocks grabbed most of the gains. Banks and health care stocks also rose. Energy companies climbed along with the price of U.S. crude oil.

Technology companies lagged the broader market, weighing down the Nasdaq composite index for much of the day.

The market's latest gains, while modest, added to what has been a mostly solid summer for stocks. The S&P 500, the market's benchmark index, has posted a weekly gain in six of the past seven weeks.

On Monday, the S&P 500 rose 6.92 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,857.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 89.37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,758.69.

The Nasdaq composite recovered from a morning slide, adding 4.68 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,821.01. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks also rebounded, picking up 5.75 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,698.69.

Stocks got off to a mixed start as investors weighed the latest corporate earnings and deal news.

Since last week investors have been feeling cautiously optimistic about the prospects for an end to the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which has led to costly, dueling tariffs between the two nations and caused uncertainty in the markets. Hopes rose late last week on news that China will send an envoy to Washington this month to discuss a way out of the standoff before President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in November.

"Is there motivation to get it resolved before November? Sure, but it's not going to be resolved any time soon," said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments. "It's going to continue to be an overhang and there's going to be a lot of posturing before any real deals are reached."

On Monday, investors bid up shares in consumer-focused companies, with several big department store chains leading the way. Macy's was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, vaulting 6.1 percent to $38.21. Kohl's picked up 3.2 percent to $78.85, while Nordstrom rose 4 percent to $61.56. Gap gained 2.8 percent to $32.17.

Airlines climbed as part of a broader rise in industrial sector stocks. American Airlines Group jumped 5.8 percent to $39.99, while United Continental gained 3.9 percent to $85.22. Southwest Airlines rose 3.3 percent to $61.63.

Estee Lauder climbed 3.4 percent to $140.56 after the cosmetics company reported quarterly results that topped Wall Street's forecasts. The company benefited from better-than-expected global sales, particularly in Asia.

Traders also welcomed the latest corporate deal news.

SodaStream jumped 9.4 percent to $142.11 after PepsiCo agreed to buy the Israeli maker of carbonated drink machines for $3.2 billion. China Biologic Products Holdings surged 8.7 percent to $100 after the company received a takeover offer from an investor group for $118 a share in cash.

Technology stocks, which have outperformed other sectors this year, slumped Monday. Intel fell 1.3 percent to $46.50.

"The biggest thing you're seeing is the continued divergence between growth and value (stocks)," said Martin, noting that investors have lately been rotating portfolios to favor value stocks more than growth stocks, such as technology, which finished slightly lower Monday.

"The valuation of technology stocks is high, relative to other areas," Martin said.

U.S. benchmark crude rose 0.8 percent to settle at $66.43 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, added 0.5 percent to close at $72.21 per barrel in London.

The pickup in oil prices helped lift energy sector stocks. Baker Hughes gained 3.2 percent to $32.01.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.82 percent from 2.87 percent late Friday.

The dollar fell to 110.23 yen from 110.60 yen late Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1467 from $1.1443.

Gold rose 0.9 percent to $1,194.60 an ounce. Silver added 0.3 percent to $14.67 an ounce. Copper gained 1.5 percent to $2.69 a pound.

In other energy futures trading, heating oil rose 0.7 percent to $2.11 a gallon. Wholesale gasoline gained 1.7 percent to $2.02 a gallon. Natural gas fell 0.2 percent to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Major indexes in Europe finished higher. Germany's DAX added 1 percent, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.7 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent.

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gave up 0.3 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 percent. South Korea's Kospi was little changed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.4 percent. Shares also rose in Taiwan.

(BE)