US Stocks Led Higher by Techs 02/19 09:38
Technology companies led stocks higher in early trading Wednesday as
investors set aside some of their concerns about the virus outbreak that
originated in China.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Technology companies led stocks higher in early trading
Wednesday as investors set aside some of their concerns about the virus
outbreak that originated in China.
New cases of the virus fell for a second straight day. China's top diplomat
told counterparts in Southeast Asia that the situation "is under effective
control" in the province where the outbreak is centered.
The early gains mark a reversal from Tuesday when tech stocks led the market
lower after Apple warned that its revenue would take a hit because of the
outbreak. Apple rose 1% and chipmaker Nvidia jumped 4.2%.
Bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury
rose to 1.57% from 1.55% late Tuesday. JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and
other banks climbed.
Navigation device maker Garmin and chipmaker Analog Devices jumped after
reporting strong earnings. Safe-play assets like real estate companies and
utilities lagged behind.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.4% as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64 points, or 0.2%, to 29,298. The Nasdaq
rose 0.7%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 0.3%. Markets
in Europe and Asia climbed.
FRESHENING THE PILLOWS: Bed Bath & Beyond rose 4.1% after the home goods
retailer rolled out initiatives to turn the struggling chain around. The
company will spend $1 billion this year reinvesting in stores, upgrading
technology, and on debt reduction and share buybacks. The moves come a month
after the company withdrew its annual financial forecast because of weak
SOLID CONSTRUCTION: Several homebuilders gained ground following a
surprisingly good government report on new home construction. The report also
showed that applications for building permits jumped 9.2% in January. Beazer
Homes rose 1.8% and Hovnanian Enterprises rose 1.4%.
VIRUS UPDATE: The virus has now infected more than 75,000 people globally,
though the overwhelming majority of them are in China. Scientific instrument
maker Agilent, which gets about 19% of its revenue from there, is the latest
company to warn that the virus' economic impact will hurt profits.