Markets & Finance

Stocks Finish with Small Gains


Stocks rebounded Tuesday afternoon for a positive finish despite the dark shadow cast by rising oil prices most of the session.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 14.20 points, or 0.14%, to 10,202.65. The broader Standard & Poor's 500-stock index inched up 0.56 point, or 0.05%, to 1,121.24. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index added 4.03 points, or 0.20%, to 1,990.77.

Oil prices jumped a dollar and a half per barrel Tuesday after an attack in Saudi Arabia over the weekend by Islamic militants. The attack killed 22 and raised fears about instability in the world's biggest oil exporter.

In company news, Anheuser-Busch (BUD) is expected to bid about $720 million for China's Harbin Brewery Group after raising its stake in the company, topping rival SABMiller's hostile $550 million offer.

Viacom's (VIA.B) second-in-command Mel Karmazin will step down, according to reports by CNBC. Karmazin and Viacom chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone were known to have a strained relationship.

In tech news, executives at Sun Microsystems (SUNW) say they expect $1 billion in sales from China in the "not too distant future," on demand for servers, software and services.

Shares in tobacco companies Altria Group (MO), R.J. Reynolds (RJR), Carolina Group (CG) were higher after publication of an article in Barron's analyzing their valuation.

Pozen (POZN), a small biotech concern, saw its stock tumble 40% after the FDA rejected its experimental migraine drug because it was not more effective than existing treatment.

In economic news, the ISM factory index showed manufacturing growing faster than expected. In May the reading rose to 62.8, up from 62.4.

"The very high reading in the employment component of ISM is reassuring evidence that the energy concerns voiced by managers in the May survey did not discourage them from continuing to expand staff," say economists at investment bank UBS.

Construction spending in April rose by 1.3% versus the consensus expectation of of 0.4% and March's reading of 1.5%.

The economic agenda Wednesday is light with an update on May car sales.

In earnings news, on Wednesday's docket are department store Neiman Marcus Group (NMG.A), supermarket chain Albertson's (ABS) and Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV).

Plenty of other market-moving events are scheduled this week. An OPEC meeting and a mid-quarter earnings update from Intel (INTC) are slated for Thursday. The May employment report is due Friday.

Treasury Market

U.S. Treasury prices finished lower Tuesday ahead of expectations for a strong jobs report Friday. Improvement in the employment picture increases chances of the Federal Reserve raising its benchmark interest rate this month.

World Markets

In Europe, stocks finished lower Tuesday amid the latest rise in oil prices.

London's Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 index lost 8 points, or 0.18%, to 4,422.70. Germany's Xetra DAX index fell 57.23 points, or 1.46%, to 3,864.18. In France, the CAC 40 index shed 45.16 points, or 1.23%, to 3,624.47.

Asia markets finished mixed. The Nikkei 225 index added 60.39 points, or 0.54%, to 11,296.76, with help from gains in Nintendo, Mitsubishi Financial Group and insurance stocks.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slid 92.69 points, or 0.76%, top 12,105.55.


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