U.S. stocks are edging higher Thursday morning as companies including agribusiness giant Monsanto are climbing on reports of possible buyouts. Retailers got more bad news as department store Kohl’s reported disappointing first-quarter results.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,730 as of 10:23 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose a point to 2,065. The Nasdaq composite index dipped 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,748 as technology and health care stocks traded lower.
DEAL TALK: Bloomberg News reported that German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer might make an offer for U.S.-based Monsanto. That follows a wave of consolidation in the chemicals industry: DuPont and Dow Chemical agreed to combine last year, and ChemChina agreed to buy Syngenta of Switzerland in March. Monsanto stock climbed $8.25, or 9.1 percent, to $98.60.
Data security company Infoblox surged $3.08, or 20.1 percent, to $18.39 after Bloomberg reported that a private equity firm offered to buy it.
MORE RETAIL WOES: Department store Kohl’s said its sales dropped and its income was weighed down by high costs. The company’s results suffered as it discounted some items to clear out inventory. The stock fell $3.37, or 8.7 percent, to $35.33.
Retailers have been struggling for months. Macy’s slashed its profit forecast Wednesday following its quarterly report, and Gap posted worse-than-expected April sales on Monday. Nordstrom fell $1.27, or 2.8 percent, to $44.15 and Macy’s lost another 49 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $30.89.
EAT UP: Burger chain Jack in the Box reported strong results, including better sales at its Qdoba Mexican restaurants. Its stock jumped $9.20, or 14.1 percent, to $74.35.
CARDED: Payment card company CPI Card Group reported disappointing results as shipments of chip-enabled cards were lower than expected. The company said the market is struggling in the U.S. and cut its guidance because credit card companies aren’t buying and issuing as many of the cards as expected.
Its stock tumbled $3.31, or 43.2 percent, to $4.35. The company’s IPO priced at $10 per share in October.
OIL GAINS: U.S. crude inched higher. Benchmark U.S. oil, which is at its highest price since early November, rose 19 cents to $46.42 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, lost 12 cents to $47.48 a barrel in London. The International Energy Agency said that higher than expected Iranian oil production has helped stabilize the global oil market by offsetting concerns generated by wildfires in Canada and violence in Nigeria.
Murphy Oil gained 64 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $30.68 and Newfield Exploration rose 73 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $38.35.
BRAZIL: The Brazilian real fell after the Senate voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, which means she will be suspended and temporarily replaced by Vice President Michel Temer. Rousseff’s cabinet was also dismissed. The real declined to 3.4874 from 3.4510. The national stock index, the Bovespa, rose about 1 percent. It’s up more than 20 percent this year.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX fell 0.8 percent and France’s CAC 40 was flat. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares lost 0.6 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index rose 0.4 percent and the Hang Seng index of Hong Kong dropped 0.7 percent. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.1 percent.
BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell and the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.75 percent from 1.73 percent. The dollar edged up to 108.73 yen from 108.49 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1409 from $1.1425.
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