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Friday December 14th, 2018 4:50PM

Technology companies lead US stock indexes higher

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising Thursday as technology companies like Apple resume their upward march. Software company CA is soaring after chipmaker Broadcom agreed to buy it for $18.9 billion. Health care and industrial companies are also climbing as the market recovers much of the previous day's losses.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index gained 20 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,794 as of 12:15 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 211 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,911. The Nasdaq composite advanced 86 points, or 1.1 percent, to 7,803. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks was unchanged at 1,683.

The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent Wednesday as new trade threats between the U.S. and China led to big losses for industrial, energy and materials companies. Industrials regained most of their losses Thursday while basic materials makers were only a little higher and energy companies didn't move much.

CHIP SHOPPING: CA accepted an offer from Broadcom worth $18.9 billion, or $44.50 per share. Its stock rocketed 18.1 percent to $43.95 while Broadcom, which plans to take on $18 billion in debt to pay for CA, lost 17.5 percent to $200.75.

Other technology companies also climbed as the industry recovered the losses it suffered on Wednesday. Apple rose 1.1 percent to $190.04 and Microsoft gained 1.2 percent to $103.17. Intel rebounded 2.2 percent to $52.33.

GAINERS: Johnson & Johnson rose 1.1 percent to $127.58 and Merck picked up 1.4 percent to $62.75 as health care companies advanced. Manufacturer Honeywell rose 2 percent to $147.44 to help industrial companies rally.

Defense contractors rose after President Donald Trump continued to criticize other NATO members at the group's summit in Brussels. He said European countries should spend more on defense, and suggested in a tweet that U.S. defense spending should keep climbing.

Leaders including French President Emmanuel Macro said NATO spending plans haven't changed, as several years ago members set a long term goal of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. Trump tweeted about a 4 percent target, which is more than the U.S. currently spends.

Lockheed martin gained 2.1 percent to $313.14 and Raytheon rose 1.7 percent to $197.28.

EXPENSIVE SUBSCRIPTION: The merry-go-round of potential media deals continued as Comcast offered to buy European pay-TV company Sky for $34 billion just a day after Twenty-First Century Fox increased its own offer for Sky.

Fox already owns 39 percent of Sky. While Fox and Comcast tangle over Sky, Comcast and Disney are trying to buy Fox itself. Fox recently accepted a $71 billion offer from Disney, and the New York Times reported Thursday that Comcast will end its pursuit of Fox and focus on Sky.

Sky's stock rose 3.4 percent in London. In the U.S., Comcast rose 1.4 percent to $34.25 and Fox fell 0.2 percent to $47.70. Disney gained 0.4 percent to $108.46.

TRADE PAIN: Stocks around the world slumped Wednesday after the Trump administration released a list of $200 billion in imports from China that it could hit with a 10 percent tax. China said it would retaliate if the tariffs take effect, and the dispute could impair global economic growth.

Stock indexes overseas recovered a piece of their losses Thursday. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.8 percent while the French CAC 40 climbed 1 percent. Germany's DAX added 0.6 percent.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 1.2 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.7 percent. Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent.

ENERGY: Oil prices fell again. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 1.3 percent to $69.44 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, was little changed at $73.41 per barrel in London.

U.S. crude dropped 5 percent Wednesday and Brent nosedived almost 7 percent as investors worried that the trade conflict will hurt the global economy. They also expect oil supplies to increase after Libya announced that it will start exporting oil again.

BONDS: Bond prices ticked higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.85 percent from 2.86 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 112.43 yen after it jumped to 112.04 yen a day ago. The euro rose to $1.1689 from $1.1674.

___

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

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
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Technology companies lead US stock indexes higher
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