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Technology Companies Lead as US Stocks Turn Higher

U.S. stocks hurdled an early loss and moved higher Friday, helped by gains for banks and technology and energy companies.

MANHATTAN (CN) — U.S. stocks hurdled an early loss and moved higher Friday, helped by gains for banks and technology and energy companies.

The turnaround came after stocks took their second-biggest loss of the year Thursday — a dip analysts have attributed to a deadly car attacks in Spain that  killed a combined 14 people, coupled with an expectation about the Federal Reserve’s sluggish raising of interest rates.

The White House added to investor dread as well with an announcement late Thursday that it will shelve plans to form an infrastructure advisory council.

With technology companies making some of the biggest gains Friday, Applied Materials issued a stronger-than-expected forecast on the heels of strong third-quarter results.

The chipmaking equipment company’s stock rose $1.15, or 2.7 percent, to $44.27. Apple gained 94 cents to $158.80 and video game maker Activision Blizzard picked up 75 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $62.12.

Though bond prices sank Friday, a small rise for the yield on the 10-year Treasury note helped banks and other financial companies trade higher.

Gold rose to its highest price since right before the U.S. presidential election, but later gave up most of that gain. It rose 0.3 percent to $1,295.70 an ounce.

Investors in sporting-goods makers and retailers were left disappointed as Foot Locker announced that some high-priced sneakers had underperformed, and the future shelves do look promising.

Foot Locker had already been poised to close 100 stores and is upping that estimate now to at least 135 stores. The company’s stock plunged $12.88, or 27 percent, to $34.82 percent after a weak quarter.

Shares of Hibbett Sports took a tumble as well by $1.10, or 9.6 percent, to $10.40, after the company cut its annual forecast.

Dick's Sporting Goods likewise released a disappointing ;  Nike shares sank Friday $2.30, or 4 percent, to $55.17; and Under Armour shed 69 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $17.12.

Sports stores were not alone in bad news, with a decline also evident in real estate companies that own shopping malls and other retail locations.

ENERGY: Energy companies rose as benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped $1.17, or 2.5 percent, to $48.26 a barrel in New York. Brent, the international standard, added $1.40, or 2.7 percent, to $52.44 a barrel in London.

NO, DEERE: Deere tumbled after its sales in the fiscal third quarter came in lower than investors hoped. The company's profit got a large boost after the company sold some of its stake in SiteOne Landscape Supply, and analysts said they were disappointed with the company's equipment sales. The stock dropped $7.30, or 5.9 percent, to $116.68.

LOOKING GOOD: Beauty products company Estee Lauder jumped after its fiscal fourth-quarter results surpassed Wall Street's expectations. The company also gave strong forecasts for the current fiscal year. Its stock gained $7.18, or 7.3 percent, to $105.50. Competitor Ulta Beauty picked up $2.61, or 1.1 percent, to $244.04.

ROSS RISING: Discount retailer Ross Stores raised its profit forecast for the year after a solid report in its latest quarter. The stock rose $4.84, or 9.1 percent, to $58.17.

POWER UP: Power company Calpine said it agreed to be bought by Energy Capital Partners and a group of other investors. The consortium is paying $15.25 a share, or $5.5 billion, and Calpine advanced $1.37, or 10.1 percent, to $14.87.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.31 yen from 109.67 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1746 from $1.1742.

OVERSEAS: The British FTSE 100 index declined 0.9 percent while France's CAC 40 fell 0.6 percent. Germany's DAX was down 0.1 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.2 percent and the Kospi in South Korea shed 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 1.1 percent.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,432 as of 12:25 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,735. The Nasdaq composite climbed 15 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,236. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks remained at 1,359. The index has fallen 6 percent since July 25.

This article was adapted from a report by AP Markets Writer MARLEY JAY

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Categories / Business, Securities

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