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US Stocks Head Higher, Set Stage For More Milestones

September 21, 2018 - 11:16 am
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By ALEX VEIGA ,  AP Business Writer

U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Friday, extending gains from a day earlier when the market climbed to all-time highs. Technology companies accounted for much of the market's gains. Retailers and other consumer-focused stocks also rose. Utilities and other high-dividend paying stocks lagged. Oil prices were headed higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,937 as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 26,696. The Nasdaq composite climbed 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to 8,036. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,724. The Dow and S&P 500 each hit all-time highs Thursday.

BETTING ON TECH: Gains in technology stocks helped drive the market higher. Electronic Arts rose 1.8 percent to $115.47.

HIT THE STORES: Retailers and other consumer-focused stocks also took solid gains. Macy's added 1.7 percent to $35.77.

TARIFFS TROUBLE: Micron fell 3.7 percent to $44.37 after the chipmaker said its profits would be hurt by tariffs on Chinese imports that go into effect on Monday. The latest U.S. tariff hike on Chinese goods in a dispute over Beijing's technology policy involves an additional 10 percent tax on $200 billion of Chinese imports. The tariffs will rise to 25 percent on Jan 1. Beijing has said it would retaliate by imposing tariffs of 5 or 10 percent on $60 billion of U.S. goods including coffee, honey and industrial chemicals.

UNAPPETIZING RESULTS: United Natural Foods slumped 15.4 percent to $28.64 after the food distributor reported disappointing earnings and sales.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 0.9 percent to $70.96 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 1.1 percent to $79.05 a barrel in London.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held at 3.07 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 112.67 yen from Thursday's 112.48 yen. The euro edged down to $1.1744 from $1.1776. The British pound weakened to $1.3072 from $1.3268 after British Prime Minister Theresa May said talks over exiting the European Union are at an impasse.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX gained 0.6 percent, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.9 percent. London's FTSE 100 index climbed 1.5 percent. Major indexes in Asia finished mostly higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.7 percent and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 percent. Seoul's Kospi added 0.7 percent. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 picked up 0.4 percent.

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