NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are slightly higher Friday after they wiped away an early loss. Energy companies are rising with oil prices and banks are up in tandem with bond yields and interest rates. Technology companies are up as well, but sporting goods makers and retailers continue to take sharp losses after investors did not like what they heard from Foot Locker and Hibbett Sports. Stocks are coming off their biggest loss in three months.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,432 as of 3:05 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,735. The Nasdaq composite climbed 12 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,233. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,359. The index has fallen 6 percent since July 25.
THE QUOTE: Stocks started moving up as reports circulated that President Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, would leave the administration. The White House confirmed his departure in the afternoon, and investors felt that makes it a bit more likely the administration can achieve at least some of its pro-business agenda.
Concerns about Trump's proposed policies, including tax cuts and infrastructure spending, have weighed on the market this week as the president and the administration were criticized for their response to last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"When you see Congressmen and Senators, including people who've been close with President Trump, backing away, that means Congress is going to have a tougher road," said Brad McMillan, Chief Investment Officer at Commonwealth Financial Network.
REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: Energy companies rose as benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped $1.42, or 3 percent, to $48.51 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added $1.69, or 3.3 percent, to $52.72 a barrel in London.
Chipmaking equipment company Applied Materials followed up solid third-quarter results with a forecast that was stronger than analysts expected, and its stock rose $1.29, or 3 percent, to $44.41. Video game maker Activision Blizzard picked up 86 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $62.23.
After initial gains, bond prices declined. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.20 percent from 2.19 percent. Gold gave up an early gain as well.
BLOWING THE WHISTLE: Athletic gear retailer Foot Locker plunged $12.78, or 26.8 percent, to $34.92 percent. The company said some high-priced sneakers didn't sell as well as it hoped, and there aren't a lot of exciting new shoes on the market. It doesn't expect that problem to clear up soon and it now plans to close at least 135 stores, up from 100.
Hibbett Sports cut its annual forecasts and its stock tumbled 93 cents, or 8 percent, to $10.58. Also falling were real estate companies that own shopping malls and other retail locations. Nike sank $2.65, or 4.6 percent, to $54.81.
NO, DEERE: Deere tumbled after its sales in the fiscal third quarter came in lower than investors hoped. The company's profit got a large boost after the company sold some of its stake in SiteOne Landscape Supply, and analysts said they were disappointed with the company's equipment sales. The stock dropped $6.92, or 5.6 percent, to $117.06.
LOOKING GOOD: Beauty products company Estee Lauder jumped after its fiscal fourth-quarter results surpassed Wall Street's expectations. The company also gave strong forecasts for the current fiscal year. Its stock gained $7.79, or 7.9 percent, to $106.11. Competitor Ulta Beauty picked up $3.39, or 1.4 percent, to $244.82.
TURNAROUND: On Thursday stocks took the second-biggest drop this year. But even that sell-off wasn't very large.
"There is a tremendous amount of optimism that is supporting the market even in the face of extraordinary stress," said McMillan. "The question is, will politics pull that down? And the answer seems to be no, because the market has learned not to pay that much attention."
METALS: Gold rose to its highest price since early November, but finished down 80 cents at $1,291.60 an ounce. Silver dipped 5 cents to $17 an ounce. Copper remained at $2.94 a pound.
OTHER ENERGY TRADING: Wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Heating oil added 4 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Natural gas lost 4 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.31 yen from 109.67 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1746 from $1.1742.
OVERSEAS: Investors were troubled as violence in Spain continued. Around midday Eastern time, a van plowed into pedestrians in Barcelona and killed 13 people. Later, a group of people used a car to hit tourists and locals at a seaside resort town, and one woman was killed. The British FTSE 100 index declined 0.9 percent while France's CAC 40 fell 0.6 percent. Germany's DAX was down 0.1 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.2 percent and the Kospi in South Korea shed 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 1.1 percent.
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