Stocks Turn Higher, Clawing Back Ground Lost On Trade Fears

Specialist Peter Giacchi, left, calls out prices before Spotify’s IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, April 3, 2018. The Swedish company will make its stock market debut Tuesday, casting a spotlight on its early lead in music streaming. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

By MARLEY JAY, AP Markets Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rallying Tuesday as the market regains most of what it lost in a sharp loss the day before. The largest gainers include banks and retailers while big technology companies are also recovering.

Banks rose as interest rates turned higher, and automakers Ford and General Motors also jumped. Retailers like Foot Locker climbed, as did consumer-focused companies including Netflix. Technology companies including Oracle, Apple and Google parent Alphabet moved higher even though they weren’t doing as well as the rest of the market.

The S&P 500 index climbed 35 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,616 as of 3:10 p.m. Eastern time. It dropped 2.2 percent a day earlier. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 379 points, or 1.6 percent, to 24,023. The Nasdaq composite climbed 85 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,955. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 20 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,512.

Markets in Europe and Asia reopened after a holiday weekend with losses as investors continue to wonder if big changes in international trade are on their way.

After a shaky start, U.S. stocks moved higher. CBS added 3.8 percent to $52.66 on reports it plans to make an offer to buy corporate sibling Viacom. The offer is reported to be for less than Viacom’s current market value, and Viacom stock fell 2.8 percent to $29.69. Investors currently value Viacom at about $12 billion.

General Motors climbed 3 percent to $36.83 and Ford rose 2.6 percent to $11.14 after the two automakers said their sales improved in March following a rough patch at the beginning of the year. Foot Locker rose 4.3 percent to $45.72 and Best Buy gained 2.3 percent to $70.51.

Music streaming company Spotify made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday. Instead of raising money through an initial public offering underwritten by an investment bank, Spotify is taking a more unusual route called a direct listing that lets investors sell the stock directly. It started trading at $165.90 a share, more than the NYSE initially expected, and later fell 9.2 percent to $150.69.

It’s been a rocky month for stocks. On March 26, they made their biggest gain in two years as investors hoped China’s response to the import duties would be measured. The market spent several more days bouncing around, and when China did place tariffs on a small number of exports, stocks plunged.

The S&P 500 is 9 percent below the all-time record it set in late January, close to the 10 percent decline that is known on Wall Street as a “correction.” Investors fear that China’s response to a broader package of trade sanctions will be harsher and that things could get worse from there.

The Nasdaq, which set its most recent record on March 12, is down 7 percent in just three weeks.

Some of the market’s woes stem from the fact that several of the largest technology companies have come under fire at about the same time. Facebook is still deep in the fallout of an ever-widening privacy scandal, and if the government decides to regulate online consumer data in new ways, that also might affect Alphabet, Google’s parent company, as well as smaller companies like Twitter and Snap.

Facebook added 0.6 percent to $156.39 while Alphabet gained 0.4 percent to $1,016.92. Microsoft climbed 1.2 percent to $89.58 and Apple rose 0.7 percent, to $167.92.

Meanwhile Amazon, which isn’t officially classified as a technology company, has come under fire from President Donald Trump, who has griped about the company’s tax payments, deals with the U.S. Postal Service, and other issues. His statements have often diverged from the facts and he’s also blamed Amazon for critical news coverage of his administration by The Washington Post, which isn’t part of Amazon but is owned by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO.

Amazon spiked 2 percent to $1,403 after Bloomberg News reported that the White House isn’t talking about taking any steps against the company. Still, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson said Trump is likely to continue periodically bashing the company for as long as he’s in office, but steps like sales tax collection changes won’t affect Amazon much, and the Post Office probably won’t raise shipping rates much either.

Returning from the long Easter holiday weekend, Germany’s DAX fell 0.8 percent while London’s FTSE 100 declined 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.3 percent. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.4 percent and Seoul’s Kospi ended down 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng bucked the trend, ending up 0.2 percent.

Bond prices declined. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.79 percent from 2.73 percent.

Gold slid 0.7 percent to $1,337.30 an ounce. Silver fell 1.7 percent to $16.39 an ounce. Coper rose 1 cent to $3.06 a pound.

The dollar rose to 106.61 yen from 105.85 yen. The euro fell to $1.2267 from $1.2300.

A barrel of U.S. crude gained 50 cents to $63.51 in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 48 cents to $68.12 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline added 1 cent to $1.97 a gallon and heating oil rose 1 cent to $2 a gallon. Natural gas picked up 1 cent to $2.70 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

© 2018, The Village Reporter and/or Associated Press (AP). All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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