Stocks Start Thursday Higher

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are higher Thursday morning as Apple and Amazon both jump. Oil prices are bouncing back after they slipped a day ago. Banks lagged the market following Wednesday's drop in bond yields, which reduces profits on loans made by financial institutions.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,918 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 70 points, or 0.3 percent, to 26,456. The Nasdaq composite climbed 63 points, or 0.8 percent, to 8,054. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,694.

APPLE OF HIS EYE: Apple rose after JPMorgan Chase analyst Samik Chatterjee said the stock could climb another 20 percent by the end of next year. Chatterjee said the company was successfully building up its services businesses such as music and payments, which could bring in 20 percent of Apple's annual revenue in the next few years. Chatterjee said the company might make acquisitions in the gaming, automotive or smart speaker businesses.

Apple rose 2.1 percent to $225.14. Elsewhere in the technology sector, Google's parent company Alphabet gained 1 percent to $1,205.63 and Facebook added 0.9 percent to $168.50. Amazon, the most valuable company on the U.S. market other than Apple, rose 1.2 percent to $1,998.

BLOODBATH: Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 22 percent to $14.52 after the home goods and furnishings company reported earnings that fell far short of what analysts were expecting. The company also forecast full-year profits that were well below forecasts.

Several other companies that reported quarterly results also traded lower. ConAgra Brands, the parent of Chef Boyardee and Hebrew National, fell 5.4 percent to $34.11. Cruise line operator Carnival gave up 8 percent to $61.59 after a disappointing revenue forecast.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.4 percent to $71.88 per barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.4 percent to $81.12 per barrel in London.

FED RATE HIKE: On Wednesday, the Fed signaled its confidence in the U.S. economy by raising a key interest rate for a third time this year. It lifted its benchmark short-term interest rate by a quarter-point and suggested it would raise rates again in December, with further increases in 2019.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 3.06 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.03 yen from 112.85 yen. The euro fell to $1.1682 from $1.1762.

OVERSEAS: The FTSE 100 index in Britain rose 0.3 percent. France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX both gained 0.2 percent. The FTSE MIB fell 0.9 percent and Italian government bond prices rose as the new Italian government met to discuss its spending plans. Some investors appear concerned Italy will break eurozone budget rules on to satisfy election promises.

Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 1 percent and South Korea's Kospi, which reopened after a national holiday, added 0.7 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.4 percent.