Stocks Mostly Up on Tech Strength

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks opened mostly higher on Wall Street Monday, although a steep drop in Boeing is weighing down the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The early gains in the market follow the worst week for the S&P 500 since January. The major indexes are still enjoying gains of 9 percent or more for the year so far.

Technology stocks powered the market's early gains. Apple and Facebook both rose 2.5 percent. Bank stocks also showed early strength, with Morgan Stanley gaining 1.6 percent.

Stocks also got a boost from a government report that showed a slight increase in retail sales for January that beat forecasts after a steep decline in December.

The entire industrial sector and the Dow were dragged down by Boeing. The aircraft maker's stock sank 10 percent following the second deadly crash involving the newest version of its popular 737.

The week opens with investors still waiting for more details on any potential trade deal between the U.S. and China. Costly tariffs have hurt both nations and investors hope a deal can be struck to at least take some pressure off the global economy, which has shown signs of cooling off.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow fell 13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,436 as of 10:25 a.m. The S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq composite rose 1.1 percent.

BOEING FALLS: The airplane maker is facing fallout from a second deadly crash involving its important 737 Max 8. The 737 is its most popular plane and the Max is its newest version.

Boeing's stock has been soaring since the beginning of the year, but plunged Monday after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner that killed 157 people. Back in October, another 737 Max 8 crashed in Indonesia, killing 189 people.

Authorities in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia have grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

BANKING MERGER?: Deutsche Bank rose 5 percent following reports that it agreed to hold merger talks with rival Commerzbank.

(BE)