US stocks start week at new highs on deals and earnings
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are breaking records again Tuesday as the market resumed its climb after a holiday break. Energy companies are rising with the price of oil. Consumer goods giant Kraft Heinz is falling after it withdrew a $143 billion offer for competition Unilever, but several other food and household goods makers are rising as investors bet Kraft will make an offer for one of those companies instead.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 62 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,686 as of 11:35 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,359. The Nasdaq composite gained 11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,849. All three indexes are at record highs, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on track for their ninth gain in the last 10 days. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies added 5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,404, which put it in line for a record as well.
U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.
LET'S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF: Kraft Heinz and Unilever both slumped after Kraft withdrew a $143 billion offer to buy its rival. Unilever said the offer was too low and the companies said Sunday that Kraft Heinz was giving up its effort. Kraft owns brands including Oscar Mayer, Jell-O and Velveeta while Unilever sells products such as Hellman's, Lipton and Knorr. Kraft Heinz gave up $3.23, or 3.3 percent, to $93.42 and Unilever declined $3.69, or 7.6 percent, to $44.84.
LOOKING FOR LOVE: Big packaged food companies have been trying hard to cut costs and find new markets, and analysts and investors think Kraft Heinz is still interested in buying another food or consumer goods company. Those included cereal makers Kellogg, which added $1.21, or 1.7 percent, to $74.11, General Mills, which gained $1.44, or 2.4 percent, to $60.67, and household goods maker Colgate-Palmolive picked up $1.13, or 1.6 percent, to $73.11.
Jam maker J.M. Smucker added $6.19, or 4.6 percent, to $142.14 and Oreo maker Mondelez climbed $1.87, or 4.4 percent, to $44.37 as investors liked what they heard following a food industry analyst meeting.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped $1, or 1.9 percent, to $54.40 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 81 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $56.99 a barrel in London.
Hess gained $1.34, or 2.6 percent, to $53.09 and Transocean rose 35 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $13.51.
CRAVING SOME CHICKEN: Restaurant Brands International, the company that owns the Burger King and Tim Hortons brands, agreed to buy Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for $1.8 billion. Shares of Popeyes jumped from about $66 to $70 and then fell back again last week as reports about the deal swirled. Restaurant Brands agreed to pay $79 a share, and Popeyes climbed $12.69, or 19.2 percent, to $78.81. Restaurant Brands' stock jumped $3.68, or 6.8 percent, to $57.58.
AMAZON WHO? Wal-Mart jumped $2.10, or 3 percent, to $71.47 after the company said its online business surged in the fourth quarter and it reported more business in the U.S. during the holiday season. Wal-Mart's profit fell as it spent more money on its e-commerce operations and its stores, but investors have been hoping the company's online sales would take off. It reported better online sales in the third quarter as well, and recently bought web-based retailers Jet.com and Moosejaw to strengthen its sales.
Online rival Amazon continued to set record highs as it rose $11.77, or 1.4 percent, to $856.84.
TUNE IN: Scripps Networks, the parent of Food Network, Travel Channel and HGTV, climbed after it reported better ratings and stronger ad sales. Its stock gained $5.63, or 7.4 percent, to $81.67 while Discovery Communications, the parent of TLC and Animal Planet, picked up 91 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $29.60. News Corp, which owns a spate of Fox cable channels, rose 22 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $13.31.
BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.42 percent.
CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 113.54 yen from 112.93 yen late Friday. The euro sank to $1.0543 from $1.0607.
OVERSEAS: After a survey showed the economy of the 19-country Eurozone is growing at its fastest pace in almost six years, Germany's DAX advanced 1.3 percent while the French CAC 40 rose 0.6 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 retreated 0.1 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7 percent after a measurement of manufacturing activity reached its highest level since 2014. The Hang Seng of Hong Kong retreated 0.8 percent. The Kospi in South Korea gained 0.9 percent.