Top Stories

Dec 11, 10:18 AM EST

US stocks edge higher in early trading; oil prices rise


AP Photo
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

U.S. stock indexes edged higher in early trading Monday as gains in technology and energy companies outweighed losses among makers of packaged foods and other consumer goods. The start of trading in Bitcoin futures helped lift shares in companies that accept the virtual currency. Oil prices rose.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,655 as of 10:07 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,366. The Nasdaq composite added 15 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,855. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,524.

CENTRAL BANK WATCH: Investors have their eye this week on the Federal Reserve, which is scheduled to issue an interest rate policy update on Wednesday. The Fed is expected to lift rates by 0.25 percent. That would be the third interest rate hike by the central bank this year.

TECH SWELL: Gains among technology companies helped lift the market. Advanced Micro Devices rose 12 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $10.06.

BITCOIN: Trading in Bitcoin futures began Sunday. They fell slightly in early trading Monday from their overnight high on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. The contract that expires in January was trading at $17,800. The price of an actual bitcoin has soared since it began the year below $1,000 and on Friday was at $16,551 on the private exchange Coindesk.

Overstock.com, which accepts Bitcoin, surged $7.63, or 16.9 percent, to $52.70.

ICAHN DO IT: Xerox shares rose on news that Carl Icahn will nominate four directors to the company's board. One Xerox director linked to Icahn resigned as the activist investor called off a standstill agreement with Xerox that started in June 2016. Xerox added 18 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $29.77.

UNAPPETIZING: Several packaged food and beverage stocks were trading lower. Hormel Foods slid 51 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $36.73.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.36 percent from 2.38 percent late Friday.

ENERGY: The price of oil edged up, with benchmark U.S. crude gaining 19 cents to $57.56 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 46 cents to $63.86 per barrel in London.

The pickup in oil prices helped boost energy sector stocks. Chesapeake Energy added 12 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $3.80.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 113.42 yen from 113.51 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.1789 from $1.1768.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was little changed, while the CAC 40 in France slipped 0.1 percent. Britain's added 0.8 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 1.0 percent. The S&P ASX 200 in Australia edged 0.1 percent higher. South Korea's Kospi picked up 0.3 percent. India's Sensex rose 0.2 percent. Shares in Southeast Asia also rose.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

  • 490 First Avenue South
  • St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  • 727-893-8111