Stocks mostly higher as bank, media gains offset tech losses
U.S. stocks finished mostly higher Monday as banks, media and energy companies climbed just enough to cancel out losses for technology companies including Facebook and Amazon.
Cable provider Charter Communications surged on a report it might be bought by a Japanese technology company. Meanwhile, cable networks Scripps Networks and Discovery Communications agreed to combine in a deal worth almost $12 billion.
Technology companies missed out. Facebook returned some of its gains from last week, when it posted strong second-quarter results, and reports of higher expenses continued to affect Amazon’s shares. Banks rose, with HSBC climbing after it disclosed its own earnings.
About half of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 have reported their second-quarter results, and this week, Apple and other companies will join the fray. Steve Wood, chief market strategist for Russell Investments, said he expects strong earnings for U.S. companies.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 1.80 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,470.30. The Dow Jones industrial average continued to build on its record highs. It gained 60.81 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,891.12. The Nasdaq composite lost 26.55 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,348.12. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 4.12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,425.14. A majority of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange rose.
Charter Communications climbed after Bloomberg reported that Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is considering buying it. The report Sunday said that SoftBank initially wanted to combine Charter with Sprint, but after Charter rejected that idea, the technology company may buy Charter outright. Shares of the cable provider jumped $21.65, or 5.8 percent, to $391.91, and investors value Charter at about $101 billion.
Discovery Communications will buy Scripps Networks Interactive for $90 per share. Scripps picked up 50 cents to $87.41. It’s up 30 percent in two weeks on reports the companies would combine. Discovery took the largest loss on the S&P 500 index as it fell $2.20, or 8.2 percent, to $24.60.
Elsewhere, Comcast added 93 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $40.45.
HSBC said higher interest rates helped it make more money from its lending business, and it plans to buy back another $2 billion in stock. Its shares climbed $1.19, or 2.4 percent, to $50.09 and Capital One Financial picked up $1.21, or 1.4 percent, to $86.18.
Among technology companies, Facebook lost $3.20, or 1.9 percent, to $169.25. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, shed $12.83, or 1.3 percent, to $945.50.