US stocks move broadly lower in early trading; Oil climbs
By ALEX VEIGA
AP Business Writer
U.S. stocks were broadly lower in early trading Thursday, weighed down by losses in technology companies and makers of consumer products. Banks bucked the trend, climbing along with bond yields. Crude oil prices climbed, hitting the highest level in more than three years.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 11 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,697 as of 10 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 72 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,675. The Nasdaq composite lost 30 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,264. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,580.
WHAT A DRAG: Philip Morris International slumped 12.2 percent to $89.11 after the tobacco company’s quarterly sales fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts.
GOING SHOPPING: Procter & Gamble agreed to buy Merck KGaA’s consumer health business for about $4.2 billion. That weighed on Procter & Gamble’s shares, which declined 3.1 percent to $75.05.
DEAL HURDLE: Qualcomm slid 4.2 percent to $52.90 after the Chinese government said it still has concerns about the company’s deal to buy NXP Semiconductors. Qualcomm withdrew one proposal for the deal Monday and submitted another.
CHARGED UP: American Express climbed 5.6 percent to $100.48 after the credit card issuer reported a big quarterly profit thanks to strong customer spending and a lower tax rate.
ENERGY: Oil futures extended their rally. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 55 cents to $69.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That’s the highest level in more than three years. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 86 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $74.34 per barrel in London.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.91 percent from 2.88 percent late Wednesday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.41 yen from 107.26 yen on Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.2378 from $1.2377.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2 percent, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent. Major indexes in Asia finished higher. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.3 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 percent. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.