By MARLEY JAY, AP Markets Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are turning mostly higher at midday Wednesday as technology companies rise and investors react to another drop in bond yields by buying high-dividend utility companies. Energy companies are declining with the price of oil. However more stocks are down than up as the market comes off its biggest loss in five months.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,348 as of noon Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,657, dragged down by a steep fall in Nike. The Nasdaq composite rose 21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,815. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies sank 5 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,341.
On Tuesday the market suffered its biggest one-day loss since October as investors wondered if key aspects of President Donald Trump’s agenda will be delayed. The Republican-backed American Health Care Act appears to be in trouble ahead of a House of Representatives vote on Thursday. That could affect Trump’s proposals for business-friendly policies like tax cuts, looser regulations and infrastructure spending.
TECH ON TOP: Technology companies led the market higher, which they’ve done throughout this year. Apple jumped $1.46, or 1 percent, to $141.30 and Microsoft rose 68 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $6.489 while software maker Adobe Systems added $1.48, or 1.2 percent, to $126.55. The S&P 500’s technology index is up 11 percent in 2017, more than double the gain for the broader S&P 500.
POWER PLAY: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.41 percent from 2.42 percent.
Investors continued to snap up utility companies and other high-dividend stocks as bond yields fell. Entergy gained $1.34, or 1.8 percent, to $77.10 while Exelon picked up 38 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $36.35. Dominion Resources advanced 55 cents to $78.76. Some other big dividend payers, including household goods makers, were mixed, but utilities are the best-performing part of the S&P 500 over the last month.
TEARS FOR SEARS: Sears said in a regulatory filing that there is “substantial doubt” it will be able to remain in business. In recent years the parent company of Sears and Kmart has closed more than 2,000 stores and slashed spending and jobs, and it has sold brands and split off its real estate assets to raise cash. The company continues to lose billions a year as its sales fall further. It said pension agreements may prevent it from spinning off other businesses. The stock has already been trading near all-time lows and lost $1.36, or 14.9 percent, to $7.74 Wednesday.
The company’s real estate investment trust, Seritage, lost 71 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $42.84.
DIDN’T DO IT: Shoe and athletic apparel giant Nike dropped as Wall Street wasn’t impressed with its third-quarter results, which included slightly disappointing sales, or its forecasts for the current period. Nike shares fell $3.48, or 6 percent, to $54.53. The stock is up this year but hasn’t recovered from a 19-percent tumble in 2016. Investors have worried about Nike’s intense competition with rivals Under Armour and Adidas.
ENERGY: Oil prices continued to fall after the U.S. government said fuel stockpiles grew more than expected last week. U.S. crude lost 38 cents to $47.86 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 48 cents to $50.48 a barrel in London.
TAKING ILL: Drugmaker Mallinckrodt fell after Imprimis Pharmaceuticals said it is studying a drug that could compete with Mallinckrodt’s costly HP Acthar gel, the source of a third of the company’s revenue. Mallinckrodt has faced criticism over repeated increases in the price of Acthar, which is used to treat more than a dozen illnesses. In 2014 it paid $5.6 billion to buy the company that makes the drug.
Mallinckrodt lost $1.52, or 3.4 percent, to $42.53.
SEEKING A DEAL: Paint and coatings maker PPG Industries fell after it made another offer to buy industrial paints and chemicals company AkzoNobel. The Dutch company rejected the offer, which was worth about $24 billion. The stock shed $1.09, or 1 percent, to $103.40.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 111.15 yen from 111.90 yen. The euro rose to $1.0810 from $1.0804.
OVERSEAS: Stocks overseas were lower. The British FTSE 100 index fell 0.9 percent. The CAC 40 in France dropped 0.4 percent and the German DAX fell 0.5 percent. In Japan the Nikkei 225 stock index fell 2.1 percent as the yen strengthened compared to the dollar, which hurts Japanese exporters. The Hang Seng of Hong Kong dropped 1.1 percent and the South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.5 percent.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay
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