Markets Right Now: Stocks end little changed on Wall Street – The News Tribune

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The Latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):

4:00 p.m.

Stocks ended pretty much where they started after a day of wavering between small gains and losses.

Investors loaded up on safe-play stocks like phone companies Thursday and had some more disappointments from the retail sector.

Kohl’s slumped 9 percent after its results fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Agribusiness giant Monsanto jumped 9 percent on reports that German rival Bayer was considering a bid for the company, while Jack in the Box soared 14 percent after its results beat forecasts.

Tech stocks fell. Apple lost another 2.4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged up nine points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,720. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell a fraction to 2,064. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 23 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,737.

11:45 a.m.

U.S. stocks are slipping after a surprising jump in the number of Americans who are out of work.

Retailers got more bad news Thursday as department store Kohl’s reported disappointing first-quarter results. Kohl’s slumped 12 percent.

Companies including agribusiness giant Monsanto are climbing on reports of possible buyouts. Monsanto jumped 9 percent.

Jack in the Box soared 14 percent after reporting results that were better than analysts were expecting.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 75 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,636. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 10 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,054. The Nasdaq composite index fell 45 points, or 1 percent, to 4,714.

9:35 a.m.

Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as traders were encouraged by talk of more deals and some better news on retail earnings.

Materials and energy companies rose more than the rest of the market early Thursday.

Monsanto jumped 9 percent on reports that Bayer is in talks to buy it. Oil companies rose along with the price of crude.

Jack in the Box soared 14 percent after reporting results that were better than analysts were expecting.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 64 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,774. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added seven points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,071. The Nasdaq composite index rose 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,772.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.76 percent.

9:40 a.m.

European stock markets are posting losses as traders take their cue from a disappointing session on Wall Street that had its roots in concerns over the state of retail spending in the U.S.

Those worries appear to have been due to an outlook warning from Macy’s and the state of Disney’s traditional cable business. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, says investors appear to be “waking up to the fact that U.S. consumer spending may not be as resilient as first thought.”

Those concerns dragged into the European trading session Thursday, with Germany’s DAX down 0.4 percent at 9,940 and the CAC-40 in France 0.3 percent lower at 4,305.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares is 0.6 percent lower at 6,127 ahead of the Bank of England’s latest economic forecasts which are to accompany its widely expected decision to keep its main interest rate unchanged at the record low of 0.5 percent.