Stocks slightly higher as oil prices reverse decline
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are mostly higher in afternoon trading Friday, as investors worked through another mixed batch of corporate earnings, this time from positive results from Google's parent company Alphabet and Amazon, and disappointing results from oil giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil.
The Bank of Japan disappointed investors with stimulus plans that didn't go as far as many had hoped. An earlier slump in oil prices reversed, helping the broader market.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,442 as of 2:25 p.m. Eastern. The Dow was being dragged down mostly by a drop in Exxon. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,175 and the Nasdaq composite rose 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,165.
LOW ENERGY: Exxon Mobil declined after reporting steep drops in quarterly earnings due to low oil prices. Exxon Mobil had its smallest quarterly profit in 17 years, well below what analysts were looking for. Chevron fared slightly better. While earnings dropped sharply from a year ago, Chevron's results still beat analysts' expectations. Exxon fell $1.46, or 1.6 percent, to $88.76 and Chevron was up 38 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $102.17 after being down earlier.
SHOW ME THE MONEY: Wall Street is finishing out its busiest week of corporate earnings, which was dominated by mostly strong results from technology companies including Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon and others. Tech earnings helped lift the technology-heavy Nasdaq this week, which is up 1.2 percent, while the Dow is flat and the S&P 500 is up marginally.
So far, corporate profits appear to be coming well ahead of what were very low expectations. Earnings in the S&P 500 so far are down 2.4 percent from a year ago, which is better than the 5.2 percent decline expected when earnings season started, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Next week another 20 percent of the S&P 500 will report their results, including Proctor & Gamble, General Motors, Kraft Heinz, 21st Century Fox and Allstate, among many others.
A-B-C: Alphabet, the parent company of Google, jumped $33.70, or 4.4 percent, to $799.64. The company reported earnings of $8.42 a share, well above the $8.04 that analysts were looking for.
STRONG SALES: Amazon rose $7.54, or 1 percent to $760.15. The online retail giant reported a profit of $1.78 per share, well above the $1.11 a share that analysts expected. Amazon reported it sold $30.4 billion in goods in the quarter, up 31 percent from a year earlier.
CRUDE OIL: In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude reversed earlier losses and was up 33 cents to $41.47 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 32 cents to $43.55 a barrel in London.
JAPAN SURPRISE: Japan's central bank ended a policy meeting Friday by announcing it will expand purchases of exchange traded funds from financial institutions to help inject more cash into the world's third-largest economy and pursue its 2 percent inflation target. But the measures fell short of hopes for more aggressive action. That helped the yen surge as investors priced in fewer yen in circulation. The dollar dropped to 102.02 yen from 105.45 yen.
BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note falling to 1.47 percent from 1.51 percent the day before. The euro rose to $1.1175 from $1.1073.
METALS: The price of gold closed up $16.70 to $1,349 an ounce, silver rose 16 cents to $20.35 an ounce and copper rose a penny to $2.222 a pound.