U.S. stock indexes extended their climb into record heights early Friday, powered by rising energy prices. Oil and gas companies led the gainers as the price of crude oil headed higher. Utilities slid. Investors kept their focus on strong fourth quarter earnings and corporate deal news.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 51 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,223 as of 10:08 a.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,312. The Nasdaq composite index added 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,719. The three indexes were pushing further into record territory after closing at new highs on Thursday.
ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION: Sears leaped 27 percent after the troubled department store chain said it will slash at least $1 billion a year in costs by selling stores, cutting jobs or selling some of its well-known brands. The stock gained $1.50 to $7.04.
GOOD FIT: Skechers surged 21.6 percent after the shoe retailer reported surprisingly strong fourth-quarter revenue thanks partly to sales in China. The stock gained $5.02 to $28.30.
STRONG QUARTER: Activision Blizzard climbed 14.1 percent after the video game maker’s fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations. Shares in the maker of “Call of Duty,” ”Candy Crush” and other games rose $5.60 to $45.33.
SOLD: Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. rose 4.8 percent after the baby formula maker agreed to be bought by British household products company Reckitt Benckiser for $90 a share, or $16.6 billion. Mead Johnson shares jumped $4 to $87.05.
THUMBS DOWN: Yelp skidded 11.9 percent after the online reviews company’s revenue forecasts disappointed Wall Street. The stock shed $4.94 to $36.55.
DASHED EXPECTATIONS: Cerner slid 4 percent after the health care information technology company lowered its earnings and revenue guidance for the year. The stock fell $2.14 to $51.74.
TRUMP & EARNINGS: Investors have been focused in recent weeks on companies reporting their quarterly results as they size up corporate America’s growth prospects. They’re also eying Washington D.C. for signs the Trump administration will deliver on the promised business-friendly policy proposals that helped drive a market rally last fall, including slashing government regulations and taxes.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 0.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 was flat. Britain’s FTSE 100 was 0.3 percent higher. Greece’s stock market was up 2.5 percent as its creditors met to find a way to ease concerns about the future of its bailout program. In Asia, investors welcomed strong January trade data from China. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index surged 2.5 percent as the yen weakened against the dollar, lifting shares of exporters.
OIL & GAS: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 83 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $53.83 a barrel in New York. The contract rose 66 cents on Thursday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, was up 87 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $56.50 a barrel in London. Natural gas futures were down 11 cents, or 3.5 percent, at $3.03 per 1,000 cubic feet.
TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.42 percent from 2.40 percent late Thursday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 113.59 yen, up from 113.33 yen on Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.0623 from $1.0658.