The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

August 19, 2013

Stocks edge higher, led by technology

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading early Monday, led by technology companies, but many investors continued to focus on the quick rise in bond yields.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,102. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1659. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index rose 17 points, or 0.5 percent, to 3,651.

Intel led the Dow higher after the stock was upgraded by the investment bank PiperJaffray, which raised its rating on the chipmaker, predicting strong sales for Intel’s chips for tablet computers and mobile devices. Intel rose 70 cents, or 3 percent, to $22.63.

Other major tech stocks also rose. Apple rose $8.43, or 1.7 percent, to $510.92 and Google rose $13.84, or 1.6 percent, to $870.60.

The main focus for many investors was the rapid rise in bond yields. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.86 percent from 2.83 percent Friday. A week ago it was 2.62 percent.

The quick rise in bond yields has worried some investors because it leads to higher interest rates and borrowing costs for many kinds of loans, including home mortgages and corporate loans.

Some investors expect the 10-year note could rise above the psychologically important 3 percent mark as early as month’s end.

“I do think we’re not too far away from that point in time where this heavy increase in bond yields is going to start impacting the (stock) markets,” said Doug Peebles, chief investment officer of AllianceBernstein Fixed Income.

The Dow is coming off its worst week this year. The benchmark index fell 2.2 percent last week and the S&P 500 lost 2.1 percent. Investors have been focused on the possibility that the Federal Reserve may pare back its massive bond-buying program as early as next month.

On Wednesday the Federal Reserve will publish the minutes of its July policy meeting, and on Thursday the Fed starts its annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

A rout for retailers continued Monday. Saks, the luxury retailer, reported a wider loss two weeks after agreeing to be bought by the Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay, the parent company of Lord & Taylor, for $2.4 billion.

The retail sector got off to a dismal start last week after Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Nordstrom each cut their sales outlooks for the year. This week, J.C. Penney, Target, the Gap, Home Depot, Sears and others report quarterly earnings. The retail industry is often closely watched by investors because consumer spending makes up a large chunk of the U.S. economy.

In other news, Zillow said it was buying New York-focused real estate website StreetEasy for $50 million. Zillow dropped $4.57, or 5 percent, to $87.03.

 

1
Text Only
Business
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
NDN Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case