Business / Europe / National

US stocks advance as banks and health care lead rally

Trader Frank O’Connell, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Stocks are opening slightly higher on Wall Street as technology companies post more gains. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising Tuesday as banks climb following an increase in bond yields, which will allow banks to charge higher rates on loans. Health care companies like makers of scientific instruments and drugs are higher as well. Stocks are on track for their fourth gain in a row and have mostly undone a big loss from last Wednesday, when they took their biggest loss of 2017.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,400 as of 12:15 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 48 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,943. The Nasdaq composite erased an early loss and rose 9 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,142. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks also turned higher and gained 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,382.

Two-thirds of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange are rising and the S&P 500 is closing in on the record high it set last week.

NETWORKING: Nokia climbed after the company said it settled its legal disputes with Apple. The two companies said they will work together and that Nokia will get a cash payment from Apple, but it didn’t disclose specifics. The Finnish company was once the biggest cellphone maker in the world, but it sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2014 and is now a network infrastructure provider. Its U.S. shares rose 31 cents, or 5 percent, to $6.52 Tuesday. Apple dipped 6 cents to $153.93.

SCOPE THIS OUT: Scientific instrument maker Agilent Technologies rose after its second-quarter profit and sales beat Wall Street estimates. The company also raised its annual profit forecast. Its shares gained $2.69, or 4.8 percent, to $58.77. Elsewhere, industrial and medical device maker Danaher picked up $1.26, or 1.5 percent, to $84.17.

BONDS: Bond prices turned lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.27 percent from 2.25 percent. That helped bank stocks. High-dividend companies like utilities also traded higher.

BLOWING A GASKET: Auto parts retailer AutoZone stumbled after its results were weaker than expected. The company said costs were higher and sales at older locations fell. Its stock fell $55.87, or 8.5 percent, to $603.62. Competitor O’Reilly Automotive sank $7.35, or 3 percent, to $241.11 and Advance Auto Parts gave up $5.17, or 3.5 percent, to $142.20. All three stocks have dropped this year as investors worried about slowing car sales.

DRINK UP: Coca-Cola gained 33 cents to $44.51 and Monster Beverage climbed 94 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $49.28 as beverage companies and other household goods companies gained ground. PepsiCo rose 38 cents to $115.28.

POWER UP: Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software jumped after its profit and sales in the fourth quarter surpassed analyst expectations. The company’s games include the “Grand Theft Auto” ”NBA2K” and “Sid Meier’s Civilization” franchises. The strong results canceled out a delay for another key game, “Red Dead Redemption 2,” which will be published next spring instead of later this year.

Take-Two stock jumped $3.54, or 5.1 percent, to $72.58. It has doubled over the last year. Rival Activision Blizzard added 27 cents $57.39 and Electronic Arts rose 58 cents to $108.97.

HOME SALES SLOW: Sales of new homes fell 11 percent in April from the previous month. That was the biggest drop in more than two years. Economists expected a smaller decline since sales had reached a nine-year high in March, and experts said the decline was most likely a blip. Homebuilder NVR fell $28.79, or 1.2 percent, to $2,328.48 and D.R. Horton lost 29 cents to $33.62. Lennar sank 33 cents to $52.12. Home improvement retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s also slipped.

BROKEN HEEL: Shoe and accessories retailer DSW slumped after its first-quarter profit fell short of Wall Street’s estimates. The company said clearance sales hurt its earnings, and its shares gave up $1.56, or 8.8 percent, to $16.09. The stock is down 29 percent this year.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 17 cents to $51.30 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 15 cents to $54.02 a barrel in London.

OVERSEAS: European stocks traded slightly higher after key surveys of business activity and optimism hit their highest levels in years. That left investors hopeful that unemployment will start to decline and European economies will continue to gain strength.

Germany’s DAX added 0.3 percent and the CAC 40 in France rose 0.5 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain declined 0.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.1 percent. The South Korean Kospi gained 0.7 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.68 yen from 111.20 yen. The euro declined to $1.1202 from $1.1234.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at

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