FILE- In this April 24, 2018, file photo replicas of Arturo Di Modica's "Charging Bull" are for sale on a street vendor's table outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Friday, Aug 17. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Industrials, health care companies help US stocks higher

August 17, 2018 - 12:48 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are slightly higher Friday afternoon as strong sales from Deere help industrial companies and a dip in bond yields sends high-dividend companies upward. Health care companies are up but chipmakers are sliding. Tesla is falling further on reports of a wider government investigation into the company and concerns about CEO Elon Musk's health.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,842 as of 1:45 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,611. The Nasdaq composite fell 22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,784. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,687.

The S&P 500 is up 0.3 percent this week after a series of big swings linked to worries about Turkey's currency crisis, China's economic growth, and hopes for trade talks between the U.S. and China. The concerns about China's economy have hurt technology companies in particular, and the Nasdaq is down 0.7 percent this week.

CHIPS CHOPPED: Chipmakers fell after two companies gave weaker forecasts for the third quarter. Applied Materials slumped 6.5 percent to $44.34 and Nvidia fell 4.6 percent to $245.67. That affected other technology companies.

Software maker Adobe dipped 2 percent to $243.99 and video game company Activision Blizzard slid 1.6 percent to $68.56.

Some of the market's favorite technology and retail companies also fell. Netflix lost 2.2 percent to $315.21 and Facebook slipped 1.5 percent to $172.11 after a loss of 3 percent Thursday. Amazon dipped 0.8 percent to $1,872.03.

THE BIG STORE: Nordstrom jumped 12.4 percent to $58.78 after raising its annual profit and sales forecasts and posting better earnings and sales than analysts expected. It's been a mostly difficult week for department stores as Macy's and J.C. Penney both plunged after issuing their quarterly reports.

BAD NEWS PILEUP: The Wall Street Journal reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission started investigating electric car maker Tesla last year to determine if it made false statements about production of its Model 3 sedan.

The SEC is also reportedly looking into CEO Elon Musk's comments about possibly taking the company private.

Tesla stock rose from about $345 a share to about $380 following Musk's tweet, which said Tesla could go private for $420 a share. On Friday it dropped 8.2 percent to $308.02.

Musk also gave an emotional interview to the New York Times about the stress he's experienced as the company tries to ramp up production. He said this year has been "excruciating" and described working up 120 hours a week, raising concerns about his health.

ON THE FARM: Agricultural equipment maker Deere posted stronger than expected sales and its stock rose 2.4 percent to $140.58. The stock started lower after Deere disclosed a smaller profit than analysts expected and said rising costs for raw materials and freight are affecting its business.

Construction equipment maker Caterpillar rose 1.5 percent to $138.31 and engine maker Paccar added 2.2 percent to $67.10.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.85 percent from 2.87 percent.

With yields falling, investors bought shares of high dividend companies. Beauty products maker Coty jumped 4.8 percent to $12.03 and Oreo maker Mondelez picked up 1.4 percent to $42.70. Utility company Sempra Energy rose 0.8 percent to $116.98.

ENERGY: U.S. crude picked up 0.2 percent to $65.60 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, added 0.1 percent to $71.52 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 110.39 yen from 110.88 yen. The euro rose to $1.1414 from $1.1365.

OVERSEAS: The German DAX lost 0.2 percent and France's CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent. The FTSE 100 in Britain was little changed.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.4 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.4 percent. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.3 percent.

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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

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