US stock indexes listless, remain close to record levels


NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes were listless in morning trading Thursday after the European Central Bank held interest rates at record lows and a series of U.S. companies reported mixed earnings. U.S. government bond yields rose.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was basically flat at 2,173 at 10:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 31, or 0.2 percent, to 18,563. The Nasdaq composite added 5, or 0.1 percent, to 5,096.

OVERSEAS: European markets were mixed, with France’s CAC 40 index down 0.2 percent and Germany’s index up 0.2 percent. The European Central Bank left all its interest rates at record lows, but its head said that it could add further stimulus as it gets a better sense of the effects of the United Kingdom’s recent vote to leave the European Union.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.8 percent, and South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.2 percent.

MORE INTEREST: Government bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 1.62 percent from 1.58 percent late Wednesday. It’s close to its highest level since June 24, when the results of the “Brexit” vote caused fear to spike in markets.

DIVIDEND DIP: Low bond yields in recent years have pushed investors to find income in other areas of the market, such as dividend-paying stocks. But when bond yields rise, it can mean less interest for these bond replacements, and the highest-yielding areas of the stock market had some of the weakest performances. Telecom and utility stocks were both down about 0.3 percent.

REVVED UP: General Motors rose 98 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $32.47 after reporting that its profit last quarter more than doubled from a year ago. The company also raised its earnings forecast for the year.

FULLY EQUIPPED: United Rentals surged $9.65, or 13.8 percent, to $79.51 after reporting better quarterly results than expected. It was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500.

BOUGHT: EBay jumped $2.67, or 9.7 percent, to $29.66 after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings for the latest quarter. It was the second-biggest gain in the S&P 500.

CHIPPED: Intel fell $1.57, or 4.4 percent, to $34.12 after the chipmaker reported slower revenue growth last quarter than analysts expected.

COMMODITIES: The price of U.S. crude oil fell 24 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $45.51 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 8 cents to $47.09 a barrel. Gold rose $2.40, or 0.1 percent, to $1,321 an ounce.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 106.33 Japanese yen from 106.87 yen late Wednesday. The euro edged up to $1.1010 from $1.1005.

comments powered by Disqus