Stocks trade mixed; Dow rises while tech skids
NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is mostly higher Wednesday even as Internet companies and Whole Foods Market take a plunge.
Molson Coors and video game maker Electronic Arts rose after reporting higher earnings. Whole Foods dropped 20 percent after cutting its profit forecast.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose six points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,874 as of 2:40 p.m. EDT. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 106 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,507. The Nasdaq fell 30 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,050.
TECH SWOON: Internet companies fell for a second day running. Facebook, NetApp and salesforce.com lost 3 percent.
AOL dropped $10.61, or 24 percent, to $33.29 after its earnings fell far short of what investors expected. Groupon lost $1.35, or 20 percent, to $5.37.
YELLEN: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress's Joint Economic Committee that a tough job market and weak inflation mean that the Fed will likely keep borrowing rates low for a "considerable time." Stress in emerging markets and a faltering housing recovery also pose risks.
As a result, Yellen said the economy still needed the Fed's help.
AN EXPLANATION: Yellen's comments soothed investors concerned that the Fed was going to raise rates too soon, and the stock market quickly turned from a loss to a gain in midday trading.
"Whenever you're near all-time highs you're going to see skittishness," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. "In this market, the slightest news can change everything."
The S&P 500 index is within striking distance of its all-time closing high of 1,890 reached on April 2.
FRESH SQUEEZE: Whole Foods plunged $9.36, or 20 percent, to $38.59 after the company cut its profit outlook late Tuesday. The company said it's facing increased competition as supermarkets, big-box stores and even online retailers step up their offerings of organic foods. It's the third time the grocery chain has trimmed its profit forecast in the last six months.
PERCOLATING BUSINESS: Mondelez surged following news that it will combine its coffee business with D.E. Master Blenders to form a new company, Jacobs Douwe Egberts. The new company will sell Gevalia, Tassimo and Jacobs, among other coffee brands. Mondelez rose $2.78, or 8 percent, to $37.95.
IT'S ELECTRIC: Electronic Arts jumped $5.25, or 19 percent, to $33.31 after the video-game maker turned in stronger results late Tuesday. The maker of "The Sims" and "Madden NFL" reported higher profits and revenue than Wall Street expected and forecast stronger earnings over the next year. Electronic Arts has soared 45 percent so far this year.
SUDSY: Beer maker Molson Coors Brewing reported better results than analysts expected on Wednesday. Quarterly earnings rose as it benefited from payment it received from Modelo for a joint venture that ended early. Molson's stock rose $2.14, or 4 percent, to $61.93.
OTHER MARKETS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was little changed at 2.59 percent. Crude oil rose $1.27 to $100.77 a barrel.