Me­dia, bank gains for­tify stocks

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - MAR­LEY JAY

NEW YORK — 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.

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.

Ca­ble provider Char­ter Com­mu­ni­ca­tions surged on a re­port that it might be bought by a Ja­panese tech­nol­ogy com­pany.

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 Hold­ings 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, but he thinks stock mar­kets in other re­gions will do bet­ter.

“The earn­ings cy­cle and the eco­nomic cy­cle are ear­lier stage and the cen­tral bank of Europe is go­ing to be pro­vid­ing liq­uid­ity over the next year,” he said. “It’s been an eight-and-a-half-year bull mar­ket in the U.S. and eight­plus-year eco­nomic ex­pan­sion.”

Char­ter Com­mu­ni­ca­tions climbed af­ter Bloomberg re­ported that Ja­panese con­glom­er­ate SoftBank is con­sid­er­ing buy­ing it. The re­port Sun­day said 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.

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 fell $3.20, or 1.9 percent, to $169.25. The so­cial me­dia network leaped 8.6 percent last week. Al­pha­bet, Google’s par­ent com­pany, shed $12.83, or 1.3 percent, to $945.50 and chip­maker Mi­cron Tech­nol­ogy fell $1.18, or 4 percent, to $28.10.

E-com­merce gi­ant Ama­zon also slumped $32.26, or 3.2 percent, to $98.78.

The price of oil rose again af­ter its best week of the year. Bench­mark U.S. crude added 46 cents to $50.17 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard, picked up 13 cents to $52.65 a bar­rel in London. U.S. crude rose al­most 9 percent last week to reach its high­est price since late May.

Bond prices were lit­tle changed. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note stayed at 2.29 percent.

Gold fell $1.90 to $1,273.40 an ounce. Sil­ver rose 9 cents to $16.79 an ounce. Cop­per added 2 cents to $2.89 a pound.

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