Associated Press

Dec 15, 10:22 AM EST

U.S. stocks are moving broadly higher in early trading, erasing modest losses from the day before


AP Photo
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

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U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Friday, erasing modest losses from the day before. Banks, health care companies and consumer products makers were among the biggest gainers. Investors weighed the latest batch of company earnings news. They also kept an eye on Washington, where GOP lawmakers sought to line up enough votes to push a sweeping tax overhaul package forward.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 13 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,665 as of 10:07 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 105 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,614. The Nasdaq added 31 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,887. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 9 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,516.

TAXING TIME: President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion U.S. tax overhaul was teetering on a knife-edge in the Senate, complicating Republican leaders' goal of pushing it through Congress next week. Senator Marco Rubio on Thursday said he would vote against the bill, which gives generous tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, unless child tax credits are expanded. The bill's original version was approved by only 51-49, with Rubio's support.

BANKING ON FINANCIALS: Banks and other financial companies were among the biggest gainers. Navient added 38 cents, or 3 percent, to $13.

FEELING GOOD: Health care stocks were notching solid gains. Cardinal Health rose $1.40, or 2.3 percent, to $61.75.

BIG-BOX BEAT: Costco Wholesale rose 4.7 percent after the warehouse club operator's latest quarterly earnings and sales came in well above financial analysts' expectations. The stock added $8.76 to $195.29.

CLOUDY SKIES: Oracle fell 5.6 percent after the second-quarter performance of the business software company's cloud-computing business and its forecast for its current quarter disappointed traders. The stock slid $2.81 to $47.38.

OFF THE RAILS: CSX slumped 7.6 percent after the railroad operator said CEO Hunter Harrison is on leave "due to unexpected complications from a recent illness." The stock shed $4.35 to $52.96.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.37 percent from 2.35 percent late Thursday.

ENERGY: Oil futures were headed higher. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 31 cents to $57.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 31 cents to $63.62 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.33 yen from 112.18 yen on Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.1785 from $1.1792.

THE BITCOIN TRADE: Bitcoin futures surged on their fifth day of trading, climbing $1,330, or 7.9 percent, to $18,130 on the Cboe Futures Exchange. The futures allow investors to make bets on the future price of bitcoin. The average price of an actual bitcoin was $17,713 in trading on private exchanges, according to Coindesk. The price of the digital currency has soared this year, having begun 2017 under $1,000.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe were mixed. Germany's DAX was down 0.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 shed 0.4 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent after European Union leaders said they would allow the Brexit talks to move on to the next stage, including trade. Earlier in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dipped 0.6, while South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.5 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.1 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 percent. Indexes in Taiwan and Southeast Asia declined.

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