Stocks Hold Near Record Levels 11/26 12:29
U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday, keeping the major indexes near
record levels, as investors assessed the latest reports on the economy.
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday, keeping the
major indexes near record levels, as investors assessed the latest reports on
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two points, or 0.1
percent, to 2,068 as of 1:01 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average
fell 12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,802. The Nasdaq composite climbed 18
points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,776.
MIXED PICTURE: Investors got three got reports Wednesday morning that gave
mixed signals on how the U.S. economy was doing. Orders for long-lasting
manufactured goods rose in October, but a key category that tracks business
investment plans declined sharply for a second straight month.
A separate report showed that the number of people seeking U.S. unemployment
benefits jumped last week, pushing total applications above 300,000 for the
first time in nearly three months. Another report showed U.S. consumers spent
modestly more in October, a slight improvement after no gain at all in the
HOLIDAY SEASON: The U.S. stock market will be closed on Thursday for the
Thanksgiving holiday. It will also close early, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, on
Friday. Stocks have barely budged this week ahead of the break. The S&P 500
index has gained 0.3 percent since Monday and the Dow is flat.
THE QUOTE: "This seems to be a classic holiday plateau," said Kristina
Hooper, head of US Capital Markets Research & Strategy for Allianz Global
Investors. "Probably, we are not going to get any focus until we come back on
THE CHIPS FALL: Analog Devices, a maker of semiconductors, was among the
biggest gainers in the S&P 500 index after the company reported earnings and
sales that exceeded Wall Street's expectations. The company said that its sales
rose 20 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter ending Nov. 1 compared with a year
ago. The company also expects 21 percent revenue growth in its first quarter.
The company's stock rose $2.29, or 4.4 percent, to $53.99.
DOWN ON THE FARM: Deere's fourth-quarter results were stronger than Wall
Street expected, but the company said its farm equipment sales and profits will
keep falling in its new fiscal year as the sector remains weak. Deere's stock
slid 85 cents, or 1 percent, to $86.94.
ENERGY: Oil prices were flat ahead of a meeting of OPEC members in Vienna on
Thursday. Benchmark crude edged down 27 cents to $73.80 a barrel on the New
York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped $1.69 to $74.09 a barrel on Tuesday.
EUROPE'S DAY: Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 6,729 and Germany's DAX rose
0.6 percent to 9,915. France's CAC-40 shed 0.2 percent to 4,373.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices edged higher. The yield on
the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.24 percent from 2.26 on Tuesday.
The dollar edged down to 117.65 yen from 117.85 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose
to $1.2507 from $1.2477 late Tuesday.