US stocks rise on forecasts from Wal-Mart and airlines
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are starting the day higher on Tuesday as a strong forecast from Wal-Mart lifts retailers and energy companies rise with the price of crude oil. Airlines are climbing after United Continental and American gave solid forecasts for the current quarter. Industrial conglomerate Honeywell is slipping after it said it will split into two smaller companies.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,550 as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 69 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,830, on pace for another record high. The Nasdaq composite gained 9 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,588. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,507.
RETAIL SURGE: Wal-Mart climbed in early trading after it said it expects digital sales to rise 40 percent next year. The company has made a string of acquisitions, including online retailer Jet, as it tries ramp up its online sales to compete with Amazon and other retailers. Wal-Mart also said it plans to buy back $20 billion of its own stock. Wal-Mart gained $3.23, or 4 percent, to $83.76. Target rose $1.23, or 2.2 percent, to $57.48 and Amazon declined $6.39 to $984.60.
TAKEOFF: Airlines rose after United and American gave updates on their business in the third quarter. Airlines have been stung this quarter by a series of hurricanes that affected the Southeastern U.S. United jumped $4.44, or 6.9 percent, to $69.14 and American rose $2.24, or 4.4 percent, to $52.84. Delta picked up $1.51, or 2.9 percent, to $53.25.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added $1.05, or 2.1 percent, to $50.63 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 83 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $56.62 a barrel in London.
Energy companies rose. Chevron gained $1.95, or 1.6 percent, to $119.66 and Halliburton rose 77 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $45.70.
KNOCK-KNOCK: Procter & Gamble edged higher. Activist investor and shareholder Nelson Peltz is seeking a spot on the company’s board of directors to push for changes at the consumer products giant. Peltz has said the company’s performance has been disappointing for a decade, while Procter & Gamble has urged shareholders to vote against Peltz and says he hasn’t offered any specific ideas. The stock picked up 87 cents to $92.99.
BREAKUPS: Industrial conglomerate Honeywell says it plans to split up. It will keep its aerospace business and create a new business that makes home heating, ventilation and security systems and fire prevention products. Its global distribution business will also be part of that company. A separate business will work on engines for transportation companies. Honeywell shed $1.29 to $142.31.
Pfizer said it might sell or spin off its consumer products business, which owns brands like ChapStick, Advil, Robitussin and Preparation H. It expects to make a decision next year. Pfizer added 8 cents to $36.22.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 112.21 yen from 112.69 yen. The euro rose to $1.1803 from $1.1752.
BONDS: Bond prices moved higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.34 percent from 2.36 percent.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX slipped 0.1 percent while Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent. The CAC 40 in France was unchanged. Spain’s IBEX dropped 1.1 percent as investors waited to see if the president of the Catalan region will declare independence during a speech on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.6 percent to its highest close in 21 years. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.7 percent after a weeklong holiday. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong climbed 0.6 percent.