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Jan 22, 12:05 PM EST

Energy and technology companies lead US stocks higher


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AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Energy and technology companies are advancing Monday as U.S. stocks continue to rise. High-dividend stocks are also higher as bond yields decline, but industrial companies are falling. Yields had climbed to their highest level in more than three years last week. French pharmaceutical company Sanofi and biotech drugmaker Celgene both announced large acquisitions. Investors aren't fazed by the federal government shutdown as it entered its third day.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,820 as of noon Eastern time after closing at another all-time high on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 26,089. The Nasdaq composite added 42 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,378. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks was little changed at 1,599.

HEALTH CARE DEALS: Sanofi said it will buy hemophilia treatment maker Bioverativ for $105 a share, a deal the companies valued at $11.6 billion. Bioverativ makes Eloctate and Alprolix, which treat two different types of hemophilia. It's part of Sanofi's growing focus on rare diseases, which can command high prices at a time generic medications for more common ailments are falling.

Bioverativ jumped $39.47, or 61.6 percent, to $103.58 while Sanofi lost $1.38, or 3.1 percent, to $43.22.

Meanwhile Celgene will pay $87 a share, or $9 billion, for Juno Therapeutics. Juno is one of several companies developing CAR-T cancer therapies, which genetically engineer patients' blood cells into "living drugs" that fight cancer. The stock surged last week on reports Celgene might buy the company. On Monday it rose $18.10, or 26.7 percent, to $85.91 while Celgene declined 61 cents to $102.04.

SHOPPING FOR INSURANCE: Insurer AIG is buying Validus, a provider of reinsurance, primary insurance, and asset management services, for $5.56 billion, or $68 a share. Validus gained $20.78, or 44.5 percent, to $67.50 and AIG slid 54 cents to $61.01.

UPS AND DOWNS: Industrial companies missed out on the gains. General Electric fell 24 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $16.02 and 3M shed $1.79 to $246.39. Boeing, which is already up 14 percent in 2018, declined $1.12 to $336.62. Big technology companies continued to rally. Google's parent company Alphabet gained $18.81, or 1.6 percent, to $1,162.31 while Microsoft added $1.02, or 1.1 percent, to $91.02.

U.S. SHUTDOWN: The U.S. government officially shut down Saturday morning after lawmakers couldn't agree on funding measures. The threat of a shutdown has loomed for months, but hasn't troubled investors. Experts say it's unlikely to have much effect on the market or the economy unless it persists for a long time, as investors are encouraged by economic growth around the world and the corporate tax cut signed into law last month.

COPY THAT: Investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason are calling for the removal of Xerox CEO Jeffrey Jacobson as the copier company reportedly seeks a deal with camera company Fujifilm. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the two companies are having talks. Icahn and Deason own 15 percent of Xerox, and they said Monday they don't trust Jacobson to lead the potential negotiations.

The stock rose 68 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $32.48.

ENERGY: Halliburton climbed after the oil and gas drilling services company posted a bigger adjusted profit and greater revenue than analysts expected. Its stock advanced $2.44, or 4.6 percent, to $55.45. Competitor Schlumberger, which reported better-than-expected results Friday, gained $2.35, or 3.1 percent, to $78.77. That helped energy companies move slightly higher.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 58 cents to $63.95 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 64 cents to $69.25 a barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices rose, and yields were slightly lower after a run of big gains. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.64 percent from 2.66 percent late Friday, a three-year high. With yields lower, investors turned to stocks that pay big dividends, including phone and utility companies. Their large dividend payments make them an alternative to bonds for investors seeking income, and they tend to do better when yields fall.

POWER UP: Utility company FirstEnergy surged after it received a $2.5 billion investment from a group of firms including Paul Singer's Elliott Management. Those investors will get $1.62 billion in convertible stock and $850 million in common stock, and FirstEnergy said the funds will help the company pack back debt and contribute to its pension fund as it converts to a fully-regulated utility.

Its stock climbed $3.89, or 13.2 percent, to $33.33.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.89 yen from 110.60 yen from 110.98 yen. The euro edged up to $1.2249 from $1.2234.

OVERSEAS: The French CAC 40 added 0.2 percent and Germany's DAX edged up 0.1 percent. In Britain the FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose less than 0.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.4 percent. The Kospi in South Korea lost 0.7 percent.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jayt

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