Tuesday December 1st, 2015 3:12PM

Stocks recover some ground but questions remain

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks were slightly higher early Monday, helped by a decent earnings report from Berkshire Hathaway and the announcement of a bailout package for a struggling Portuguese bank.<br /> <br /> KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 22 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,516 as of 10 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,930 and the Nasdaq composite rose 21 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,373.<br /> <br /> In Europe, Germany's DAX fell 0.1 percent and France's CAC 40 rose 0.7 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.8 percent.<br /> <br /> PORTUGESE BANK RESCUE: Portugal's central bank said late Sunday it will rescue the ailing bank Banco Espirito Santo, one of the country's biggest financial institutions. The bank's woes were a major reason European markets fell last week.<br /> <br /> BUFFETT'S BIG PAYDAY: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway rose $1.71, or 1.4 percent, to $127.54 in early trading. Berkshire reported a profit of $6.4 billion last quarter, helped by its insurance division Geico, which performed well above Wall Street's expectations. Berkshire's investment portfolio was also a big driver of profits last quarter.<br /> <br /> THE AFTERMATH: Investors are recovering from last week's market rout, where the S&P 500 fell nearly 3 percent in five days. It was the worst week for the index since June 2012.<br /> <br /> "Despite this slightly positive start to the week, there does appear to be a little caution in the markets," said Alpari analyst Craig Erlam. "Investors are a little concerned that the sell-off which started last week is not over and could lead to something much bigger."<br /> <br /> LIGHTS OFF: Utility stocks were among the hardest hit in early trading Monday. Consolidated Edison, PG&E and Duke Energy were all down 1 percent or more. The Dow Jones utility index, which includes 15 utility stocks, fell 1.3 percent.<br /> <br /> ASIA'S DAY: China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.7 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.3 percent. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent but Tokyo's Nikkei 225 ended down 0.3 percent.<br /> <br /> CURRENCIES, OIL: Currency markets were flat. The dollar was steady at 102.57 yen and the euro held at $1.3422. Benchmark U.S. crude for September delivery was down 18 cents at $97.70 per barrel.
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