Hi-Tech

Markets Right Now: Stocks edge higher; bond yields climb

Markets Right Now: Stocks edge higher; bond yields climb

- Global stock markets traded in narrow ranges Monday as investors awaited fresh drivers following a volatile couple of months that has seen many shares take a pounding on a series of concerns, including fears of a trade war between the US and China, and then recover amid a rebound in risk appetite.

Verizon, Harley-Davidson and Fifth Third Bancorp all rose sharply in early trading Tuesday after reporting results that came in ahead of analysts' forecasts.

Drugmaker Shire rose 3.3 percent after saying it had received another takeover offer from Japanese rival Takeda.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.15 points to 2,670.29. The Dow Jones industrial average fell less than 0.1 percent to 24,448.69. The Nasdaq increased 34 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,162.

Bond prices continue to fall, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note closer to 3 percent, a milestone it hasn't reached since January 2014. Toymakers Hasbro and Mattel are lagging the rest of the market after Hasbro reported a loss and a big drop in sales as the companies dealt with the demise of Toys R Us. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note continued to trade at four-year highs, rising to 2.98 percent from 2.96 percent.

While rising yields usually tend to make stocks look less attractive in comparison, which was one of the triggers for the equity market sell-off in February, market strategists said strong earnings could help investors overlook such concerns this time around. Mattel fell 0.6 percent to $12.89.




Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) helped lift the healthcare sector, up 2.3 percent following a Goldman Sachs upgrade to "buy".

Analysts expect earnings growth at S&P 500 companies of almost 20 percent in the first quarter, the strongest showing in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data. If only the 10-year Treasury yield weren't heading toward 3% this morning. CenterPoint fell 2.2 percent to $26.08. Alphabet GOOGL.O reports after markets close on Monday.

Sears rose 7.6 percent after the company's CEO said the struggling retailer should sell its Kenmore brand. Walmart dipped 0.6 percent to $86.44.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.03, or 1.5 percent, to $67.37 per barrel in NY while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, lost 56 cents to $73.50 per barrel in London.

The S&P 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,675. The euro fell to $1.2234 from $1.2283.

The CAC 40 in France gained 0.5 percent.


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