Technology Firms And Small Companies Lead U.S. Stocks Higher

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 8, 2015, file photo, Federal Hall’s George Washington statue stands near the flag-covered pillars of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks are off to a mixed start on Wall Street, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, as gains in big technology companies are partly offset by losses in energy and industrial stocks. Chipmaker Nvidia and business software maker Oracle both rose. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

NEW YORK — Large technology companies and smaller U.S.-focused firms are rising again Friday morning and taking stocks to more record highs. Tyson Foods is climbing after it gave strong profit forecasts, and investors cheered strong quarterly results from homebuilder KB Home. Stocks are wrapping up their eighth consecutive quarterly gain.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,515 as of 2:05 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 26 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,354. The Nasdaq composite jumped 35 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,489. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are both on track to finish at all-time highs.

The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks added 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,491. It’s also at record highs after a big rally this month.

YUMMY: Tyson Foods jumped after the food company raised its annual guidance and said profits for its beef business were better than expected. The company now expects to earn between $5.20 and $5.30 a share while analyst expected $5.05 a share, according to FactSet. Tyson is also cutting costs and said it will eliminate 450 more jobs. The company projects a profit of $5.70 to $5.85 a share for its next year, well above the $5.32 analysts expected.

Tyson climbed $5.05, or 7.7 percent, to $70.51. The stock has risen more on Friday than it had all year. Rival Hormel Foods, whose brands include Skippy, rose 41 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $32.12. Those companies and their competitors have struggled in recent years as Americans look for fresher food options.

TECH BACK ON TOP: Technology companies rose further and they are set to finish as the best-performing S&P 500 sector in the third quarter. They also held that distinction in the first quarter. The S&P 500 technology index has climbed 26 percent in 2017, while the S&P 500 is up 12 percent.

Facebook added $2.49, or 1.5 percent, to $171.22 and fiber optic products maker Amphenol jumped $2.41, or 2.9 percent, to $84.69. Chipmaker Applied Materials rose $1.28, or 2.5 percent, to $51.90.

The recent gains for tech companies have come in spite of a slump for Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly-traded company. While Apple has soared this year, it’s down about 4.5 percent since it announced its new line of iPhones and other products Sept. 12.

SWEET HOME: KB Home advanced after its third-quarter profit and sales for homebuilder beat estimates. The stock rose $2.04, or 9.2 percent, to $24.26. Other homebuilders made smaller gains. Meritage Homes picked up 88 cents, or 2 percent, to $44.43 and Lennar advanced 56 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $170.61.

SPRINTING: Sporting goods retailer Finish Line continued to rally after the New York Post reported that the company is in talks to sell itself to Sports Direct, a British company that owns the Everlast and Kangol Brands. The stock gained 35 cents, or 3 percent, to $12.01.

Finish Line hit eight-year lows in late August as weak sales of shoes and other challenges for it and its competitors continued to mount. The stock has jumped 30 percent in the last six days, but it’s still down 36 percent this year.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 9 cents to $51.47 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, shed 60 cents, or 1 percent, to $56.56 a barrel in London.

Energy companies gave back some of their recent gains. They’ve had a strong third quarter thanks to a rally in oil prices. U.S. crude is up about 12 percent since the end of June.

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes lost 45 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $36.58 and Occidental Petroleum fell 75 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $64.22.

METALS: Gold lost $3.90 to $1,284.80 an ounce. Silver slid 17 cents to $16.68 an ounce. Copper fell 3 cents to $2.96 a pound.

ECONOMIC DATA: U.S. consumer spending inched up 0.1 percent in August, according to the Commerce Department, and wages and salaries were unchanged. That could be a hint third-quarter economic growth will be weaker.

BONDS: Bond prices turned lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.32 percent from 2.31 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.55 yen from 112.39 yen. The euro rose to $1.1808 from $1.1791.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX added 1 percent and the FTSE 100 in Britain and CAC 40 in France both gained 0.7 percent. In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 inched down less than 0.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 0.9 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.5 percent.

By MARLEY JAY - Sep 29 2:18 PM EDT AP

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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%20jay

 
 

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