FILE- This Oct. 25, 2016, file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange at sunset in lower Manhattan. On Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street as the market gives back some of its gains from the week before. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Industrial And Energy Companies Lift US Stocks; Banks Slip

July 13, 2018 - 8:23 am

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are inching higher Friday as energy companies rise with oil prices. Industrial companies and household goods makers are also higher. Banks are slipping as investors aren't finding much to get excited about in second-quarter reports from JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. AT&T is falling after the Department of Justice asked a court to overturn its purchase of Time Warner.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,803 as of 11:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 84 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,009. The Nasdaq composite gained 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,833 after it closed at a record high on Thursday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,694.

Major indexes are on track for their second consecutive week of solid gains following a modest losing streak. Investors continued to waver between optimism about the growing U.S. economy, and the strong company earnings that come with it, and worries that the U.S.-China trade war and other trade disputes could set back the global economy.

BANK RESULTS: The fallout from Wells Fargo's phony accounts scandal continued to harm its business, and the largest U.S. mortgage lender posted a smaller profit than analysts expected. Its stock gave up 1.5 percent to $55.20. Citigroup fell 2.5 percent to $66.80 after it reported weak revenue growth. JPMorgan Chase fared better and picked up 0.5 percent to $107.36 While bank profits are surging this year, much of the growth has come from last year's corporate tax cuts rather than a big improvement in their businesses.

Bank stocks have fallen this year even though company profits are growing. Recently investors have worried about the shrinking gap between short-term interest rates and longer-term ones because banks make a lot of their money by borrowing money at short-term rates and lending it out over the long term. Investors are more optimistic about technology companies and retailers, and companies in those industries are expected to post even stronger earnings growth later this summer.

EARLY GAINERS: V.F. Corp., the maker of brands such as Vans, North Face and Timberland, rose 1.7 percent to $85.15. Home improvement retailer Lowe's climbed 2.4 percent to $100.62, while Starbucks gained 1.4 percent to $50.98. Among industrial companies, United Rentals jumped 2.2 percent to $155.70 and jet engine and elevator maker United Technologies added 1.6 percent to $129.40.

NOT SO FAST? AT&T dropped 2 percent to $31.58 after the Justice Department moved to challenge its recent purchase of Time Warner. The $85 billion deal closed last month after a federal judge ruled that it did not violate antitrust law, but the government is asking a higher court to reconsider that ruling.

CHANGE AT GRUMMAN: Defense contractor Northrop Grumman said chairman and CEO Wes Bush will step down. Company President Kathy Warden will replace him as CEO on Jan. 1, while Bush will give up his role as chairman in July 2019. The stock declined 1.2 percent to $318.26.

J&J RULING: Johnson & Johnston stock lost 0.9 percent to $126.59 after a St. Louis jury on awarded almost $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer in the first case against the company that focused on asbestos in the powder. The company said the verdict was the result of an unfair legal process and said it will appeal, as it has in previous cases that found for women who sued the company.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.2 percent to $71.19 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 1.1 percent to $75.29 per barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices moved higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.83 percent from 2.85 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 112.45 yen from 112.46 yen. The euro fell to $1.1664 from $1.1670.

OVERSEAS: France's CAC 40 advanced 0.4 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent. Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent.

Asian markets finished mostly higher led by Japan, where the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.9 percent as the yen weakened against the dollar, which helps exporters. South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.1 percent to and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.2 percent.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at His work can be found at

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