Technology Companies And Banks Lead Early Gains For Stocks

By Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press

U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading on Wall Street Tuesday as the market extended a winning streak well into a second week.

Technology companies, retailers and banks posted some of the biggest gains.

Chipmakers were among the biggest winners in the early going. Advanced Micro Devices jumped 5.6 per cent, and Nvidia climbed 3.9 per cent. JPMorgan rose 1.1 per cent.

Energy stocks, including Exxon Mobil, continued their year-long rise as crude prices neared $60 per barrel.

Utility and consumer goods companies lagged the market, a sign that investors are confident and feel the market has more room to grow. Investors tend to favour high-dividend, slow-growth stocks like those when they’re fearful of market turbulence.

The broader market broke out of a short slump last week and has been gaining since then. It marks a turnaround from a terrifying drop in December, and now every major U.S. index is up more than 10 per cent for the year.

A major focal point of the week for investors is the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s meeting on Wednesday. The central bank has signalled that it is backing down from raising rates quickly.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 122 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 26,037 as of 10:28 a.m. The S&P 500 index rose 0.3 per cent and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.2 per cent.

CRAFTY MOVEMENT: Michaels jumped 13.7 per cent as investors rewarded a better-than-expected fourth quarter and overlooked a weak forecast. The arts and crafts retailer has been reassessing its operations, moving to expand its children’s offerings and shuttering its Pat Catan craft stores.

The company also changed leadership earlier this month, with CEO Chuck Rubin stepping down and longtime retail executive Mark Cosby taking over as interim CEO.

BROKEN LACE: DSW fell 14 per cent after the footwear retailer surprised investors with a loss during the fourth quarter. The company swung to a loss of 7 cents per share, while Wall Street anticipated 4 cents per share in profit. Expenses jumped during the quarter and DSW had to deal with a hefty charge.

This article provided by NewsEdge.