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Stocks Mixed in Early Trading          01/19 09:31

   The major U.S. stock indexes were mixed in early trading Friday as gains by 
banks and consumer-focused companies outweighed losses in energy and other 
sectors. 

   (AP) -- The major U.S. stock indexes were mixed in early trading Friday as 
gains by banks and consumer-focused companies outweighed losses in energy and 
other sectors. The price of oil fell on a report saying U.S. production is set 
to rise further above 50-year highs. Investors were monitoring developments in 
Washington ahead of a possible federal government shutdown this weekend.

   KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3 points, or 0.1 
percent, to 2,801 as of 10:09 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial 
average slid 35 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,982. The Nasdaq added 8 points, 
or 0.1 percent, to 7,305. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks 
picked up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,577.

   SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN: U.S. House lawmakers voted for a stopgap funding bill to 
keep agency doors open and federal workers at their jobs until mid-February, 
but Senate Democrats and some Republicans were expected to block it on Friday. 
A shutdown could hurt consumer spending and rattle markets, though it's 
unlikely to cause widespread economic damage, Credit Suisse economists said in 
a note on Thursday.

   BETTING ON BANKS: Financials stocks posted solid gains. Citizens Financial 
Group added $1.24, or 2.7 percent, to $47.

   NOT A DRAG: Tobacco companies led a group of consumer products stocks. 
Altria Group gained $1.52, or 2.2 percent, to $71.55. Philip Morris 
International picked up $2.19, or 2.1 percent, to $107.26.

   BOARDROOM MAKEOVER: Lowe's rose 2.2 percent after the home-improvement 
supply retailer named three new directors. The stock added $2.26 to $103.62.

   PRIME HIKE: Amazon was trading higher following reports that the e-commerce 
giant will raise the price of monthly Prime memberships. The stock picked up 
$6.24 to $1,299.56.

   NOT BUYING: American Express fell 1.7 percent after the credit card issuer 
suspended its share buy-back program for six months. The stock shed $1.69 to 
$98.17.

   ENERGY: Oil futures were down after the International Energy Agency said 
U.S. oil production would rise sharply this year. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 40 
cents to $63.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used 
to price international oils, fell 35 cents to $68.96 a barrel.

   The decline in oil prices weighed on energy sector stocks. Hess slid $1.81, 
or 3.4 percent, to $51.99.

   BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 
2.64 percent from 2.63 percent late Thursday.

   CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.70 yen from 111.98 yen on Thursday. The 
euro weakened to $1.2239 from $1.2242.

   BITCOIN: The price of bitcoin gained 3.4 percent to $11,632, according to 
the tracking site CoinDesk. Bitcoin futures on the Cboe Futures Exchange were 
down 2 percent to $11,510. The futures allow investors to make bets on the 
future price of bitcoin.

   MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe were moving higher. 
Germany's DAX rose 1.1 percent and France's CAC 40 was up 0.6 percent. 
Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent. In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 
edged up 0.2 percent, while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.2 percent. Hong Kong's 
Hang Seng ended 0.4 percent higher.


(BE)

 
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