US stock indexes mixed in afternoon trading; oil rising

US stock indexes mixed in afternoon trading; oil rising

ALEX VEIGA, AP Business Writer

U.S. stock indexes were drifting between small gains and losses in afternoon trading Thursday as investors sized up the latest company earnings news. Phone companies and technology stocks were among the biggest decliners. Consumer goods stocks were up the most. The market was coming off solid gains from the day before, when the Dow industrial average and other indexes closed at record highs.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,296 as of 12:57 p.m. Eastern Time. The Nasdaq composite index slid 1 point to 5,655. The Dow edged up 33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,101. Small-company stocks did worse than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 lost 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,375. More stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

RECORD RUN: It's been a record-making week on Wall Street. The S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite closed at all-time highs on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Dow, which tracks 30 major industrial companies, added its own milestone Wednesday after it breached the 20,000 mark for the first time. The market is getting a boost from strong company earnings and investor optimism that the Trump administration's policies on taxes, regulation and trade will be good for business.

THE QUOTE: "Earnings have come in strong for sure," said Patrick Schaffer, global investment specialist, J.P. Morgan Private Bank. "This is a very important component of the rally that we've seen."

NO JOY: Mattel sank 15.5 percent after the toymaker reported a big slowdown in sales over the holidays. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, sliding $4.88 to $26.68.

PRICE SLUMP: McKesson slid 8 percent after the prescription drug distributor said prices were weaker than it expected in its fiscal third quarter. The stock shed $12.07 to $139.03.

BREXIT WORRIES: Whirlpool tumbled 8.4 percent after the appliance maker said Britain's impending departure from the European Union hurt its profits. The stock fell $16.04 to $174.16.

SOLD: United Rentals jumped 12.1 percent after the equipment rentals company said it has agreed to acquire construction equipment company NES Rentals for $965 million. United Rentals led all the gainers in the S&P 500, climbing $13.86 to $128.12.

FRESH COAT: Sherwin-Williams jumped 8.6 percent after the paint and coatings company reported quarterly earnings and revenue that easily beat analysts' forecasts. The company said it expects to complete its $11.3 billion purchase of Valspar within 90 days after making a relatively small divestiture. The stock gained $24.44 to $307.86.

HEALTHY RESULTS: Biogen rose 2.6 percent after the company reported a bigger profit than expected, which bought it back to around breakeven this year. The stock added $7.03 to $280.27.

HOME SWEET HOME: PulteGroup gained 4.6 percent after the homebuilder reported that quarterly earnings and sales beat Wall Street's estimates. The stock was up 94 cents to $21.38.

SMOOTH SAILING: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. was up 8.7 percent after the cruise line operator gave an optimistic forecast for 2017 and said bookings are good. The stock added $7.67 to $95.34.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent, while the CAC-40 in France slipped 0.2 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat. Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 surged 1.8 percent and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.8 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.4 percent. Markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and other Asian countries are about to begin holidays of varying lengths to mark the lunar new year, curtailing trading across much of the region.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil was up $1.11, or 2.1 percent, at $53.86 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up $1.11, or 2 percent, at $56.53 a barrel in London.

TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices were fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.53 percent from 2.52 percent late Wednesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 114.63 yen from 113.60 on Wednesday. The euro fell to $1.0680 from $1.0743.

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