U.S. stock indexes wavered between small gains and losses in early trading Wednesday as investors sized up the latest company earnings and deal news. Consumer staples companies were down the most, while health care and financial companies moved higher.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose six points to 18,060 as of 10:07 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped less than one point to 2,100. The Nasdaq composite index gained six points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,947.
PRINT IT: Lexmark International surged 10.1 percent after the printer maker agreed to be bought by a group that includes Apex Technology and PAG Asia Capital for about $2.51 billion. The stock added $3.52 to $38.18.
CHARGE IT: Discover Financial Services climbed 6.5 percent after the credit card issuer and lender reported better-than-anticipated quarterly profit and sales as loan volume improved. The stock gained $3.32 to $55.87.
NO FIZZ: Coca-Cola slid 4.7 percent after the world’s biggest beverage maker reported a lower profit for the first quarter. The company was squeezed by a strong dollar and charges related to the transformation of its North American operations. Coca-Cola fell $2.27 to $44.32.
STRONG QUARTER: VMWare jumped 12.6 percent after the cloud-computing company reported better-than-expected earnings. The stock climbed $6.47 to $57.93.
FOR SALE: Yahoo rose 2.7 percent a day after the Internet pioneer said that it is considering the sale of part or all of its Internet business. The news overshadowed its latest quarterly loss. The stock shed $1 to $37.32.
NOT RECOMMENDED: Angie’s List slumped 7 percent after the online ratings service reported an unexpected loss and disappointing sales in the first quarter. The stock slid 57 cents to $7.18.
ENERGY: U.S. crude was down 77 cents, or 1.9 percent, at $40.31 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down 80 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $43.23 a barrel in London.
OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 0.3 percent, while the CAC-40 of France was up 0.1 percent. The FTSE 100 of leading British shares was down 0.3 percent. Earlier in Asia, most markets closed lower. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.3 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.9 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.2 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5 percent.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices barely budged. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.78 late Tuesday. In currency markets, the euro fell to $1.1331 from $1.1377, while the dollar rose to 109.40 yen from 109.13.
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