1. Technology and defense companies lead US stocks higher

Technology and defense companies lead US stocks higher

Defense contractors are also rising as the market bounces back from a turbulent week. Energy companies are taking modest losses.

By: | New York | Published: May 23, 2017 3:26 AM
Ukrainian, hacker, unpublished news, prison, Vadym Iermolovych, identity theft, conspiracy, wire, computer hacking Defense contractors are also rising as the market bounces back from a turbulent week.(Reuters)

U.S. stocks are higher Monday as software, chip makers and other technology companies climb. Defense contractors are also rising as the market bounces back from a turbulent week. Energy companies are taking modest losses.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,392 as of 3 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 88 points, or 0.4 percent, to 20,892. The Nasdaq composite gained 44 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,127. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,374.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both set records early last week before worries about growing political uncertainty in Washington, and its potential effects on President Trump’s agenda of tax cuts and deregulation, knocked those indexes back from their highs. The Russell 2000, which contains companies that might get bigger benefits from Trump’s proposals, is down more than 3 percent from the record it set one month ago.

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SAVE TO THE CLOUD: Qualcomm, the world’s largest chipmaker, gained $1.26, or 2.2 percent, to $58.93 and Cisco Systems, which sells equipment like routers, switches and software, rose 72 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $31.93. Adobe Systems picked up $2.31, or 1.7 percent, to $138.74 and design software maker Autodesk jumped $3.26, or 3 percent, to $113.17.

THE QUOTE: Technology companies have done far better than the rest of the market this year. Sameer Samana, a strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said people keep spending more on personal electronics while businesses are investing in automation and software to boost their productivity. ”In a low-growth environment, you’ve got to squeeze more out of every dollar of investment,” Samana said. He added that U.S. tech companies do a lot of business overseas, and foreign markets have been stronger than expected this year.

AEROSPACE GAINS ALTITUDE: Aerospace and defense companies climbed after President Trump presided over a $110 billion sale of military equipment to Saudi Arabia. The agreement could expand to $350 billion over 10 years. It appeared to reverse an Obama administration to pause sales of precision-guided munitions to the kingdom. Lockheed Martin climbed $4.02, or 1.5 percent, to $276.81 and Boeing gained $2.37, or 1.3 percent, to $183.13.

DRIVEN OFF: Ford replaced CEO Mark Fields as it struggles to keep the traditional parts of its business running smoothly while it tries to remake itself as a nimble, high-tech automaker. In Fields’ three years as CEO, popular cars like the Fusion sedan became dated and Ford lagged competitors in bringing long-range electric cars to market. Ford’s new CEO is Jim Hackett, who has led Ford’s mobility unit for more than a year. Ford added 18 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $11.05. The stock is down 9 percent this year.

CHEMISTRY: Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant and Huntsman Corp. are merging to create a company with a market value of $13.8 billion. The company will call itself HuntsmanClariant and Clariant shareholders will own 52 percent of the new company. Huntsman stock slid 41 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $26.230and Clariant stock rose 3.4 percent in Switzerland.

SIDE EFFECT CONCERNS: Amgen and its partner UCB said women who took their experimental osteoporosis drug Evenity were more likely to have serious cardiovascular problems than patients who took Fosamax, an older drug. The companies said that was a new safety concern and they no longer expect the Food and Drug Administration to approve Evenity this year. The companies also said Evenity reduced bone fractures in two clinical trials. The studies involved women who had gone through menopause. Amgen lost $3.75, or 2.4 percent, to $152.76.
ENERGY: Oil prices continued to rally. Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 40 cents to $50.73 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 26 cents to $53.87 a barrel in London. Despite that, energy companies traded a bit lower overall.

OTHER ENERGY TRADING: Wholesale gasoline gained 1 cent to $1.66 a gallon. Heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.60 a gallon. Natural gas climbed 7 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $3.33 per 1,000 cubic feet.

METALS: Gold rose $7.80 to $1,261.40 an ounce. Silver jumped 40 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $17.19 an ounce. Copper rose 1 cent to $2.60 a pound.

BONDS: Bond prices moved a bit lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note inched up to 2.25 percent from 2.24 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 111.17 yen from 111.20 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.1234 from $1.1205.

OVERSEAS: In Britain, the FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent. The German DAX dipped 0.2 percent and France’s CAC lost a fraction of a percentage point. Japan’s market rose following strong trade data. The benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 percent while the South Korean Kospi jumped 0.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 0.9 percent.

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