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Saturday, April 17, 2021

U.S. stocks rise, led by gains for energy and tech companies

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising Thursday afternoon after getting off to a wobbly start. The price of oil is climbing for the third straight day as key oil-producing nations discuss cuts in production. That sent energy stocks higher. Drug stocks are sinking on earnings and concerns about an investigation into prices.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 107 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,051 as of 2:22 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged up 12 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,894. The Nasdaq composite index gained 39 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,506.

Energy stocks rose with the price of oil, and strong earnings from Facebook and PayPal sent tech stocks higher. Health care stocks fell.

OIL CLIMBS: The price of oil rose as the Russian government continued talks with Saudi Arabia and OPEC about cutting production. U.S. crude added 91 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $33.21 a barrel in New York. That’s on top of a 6.5 percent climb over the previous two days. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 88 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $34.81 a barrel in London.

Oil prices have been on a long, steep slide as world stockpiles hit enormous levels and investors fear demand will get weaker. Last Wednesday U.S. oil closed at a 12-year low of $26.55 a barrel.

ENERGY STOCKS: Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan added $1.10, or 7.8 percent, to $15.20. Oil and natural gas producer Devon Energy rose $2.06, or 8.4 percent, to $26.55. Oil company Hess, which rose almost 6 percent Wednesday after it said it will cut more spending, picked up another $2.96, or 8 percent, to $39.81.

FACEBOOK GETS LIKES: Facebook surged after reporting that its profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter. The social networking site gained another 46 million users, giving it 1.59 billion around the world. The stock rose $15.42, or 16.3 percent, to $109.87, on pace for its best day in two years.

A GOOD FIT: Sports apparel maker Under Armour reported a larger-than-expected profit and better revenue than analysts had forecast. The company said shoe revenue almost doubled on strong sales of Stephan Curry basketball sneakers. Its stock climbed $14.93, or 21.8 percent, to $83.51, putting Under Armour on pace for its biggest one-day gain in two years.

FEELING SICKLY: Companies that make complex, costly drugs tumbled. Cancer drug maker Celgene lost $4.49, or 4.3 percent, to $97.91 after its 2016 estimates disappointed investors.

The Massachusetts attorney general’s office said Wednesday it is investigating whether the high price of a new hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences violates state law. The stocks have fallen in recent months as controversy over drug prices has increased.

Gilead fell $1.43, or 1.6 percent, to $88.20.

The Nasdaq biotech index fell 3 percent. That index hit a record high in July and has lost about a third of its value since then.

HEALTH CARE SLIPS: Other health care stocks also struggled. Abbott Laboratories lost $3.56, or 8.8 percent, to $36.91 after the maker of infant formula, medical devices and drugs posted quarterly profits that disappointed investors. Prescription drug distributor McKesson gave up $6.03, or 3.6 percent, to $160.89 following its quarterly report.

BID LOWER: E-commerce site eBay lost $3.77, or 14.3 percent, to $22.6 after its guidance for the current quarter and the year disappointed investors. Its former payment unit PayPal reported strong results and added $2.32, or 7.3 percent, to $33.91. PayPal was spun off from eBay in July.

CATERPILLAR DIGS IN: Construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar reported better-than-expected quarterly results even though the company is struggling with lower commodity prices and a weakening global economy. It rose $2.34, or 4 percent, to $60.66.

JUNIPER BURIED: Computer network equipment maker Juniper Networks tumbled after releasing disappointing forecasts for the current quarter. The company also said its chief financial officer was leaving. The stock lost $4.43, or 16.7 percent, to $22.12.

OUT OF STOCK: Equipment rental company United Rentals reported a smaller fourth-quarter profit and less revenue than Wall Street expected. Its stock fell $10.14, or 18.2 percent, to $45.70.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX fell 2.4 percent and France’s CAC-40 gave up 1.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares lost 1 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index gave up early gains to end 0.7 percent lower. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China closed 2.9 percent lower.

METALS: Gold declined 20 cents to $1,115.60 an ounce. Silver fell 22.7 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $14.232 an ounce. Copper lost 1.3 cents to $2.052 a pound.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 2 percent. The euro rose to $1.0963 from $1.0907 late Wednesday. The dollar rose to 118.73 yen from 118.64 yen.

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