US stocks rise as health care and energy companies climb

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising Wednesday afternoon as stocks break out of a two-day slump. Energy companies are jumping as the price of oil rises 5 percent. Health care companies are also trading higher, led by drugmakers. The market is coming off its worst day in about a month.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 77 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,680 as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,059. The Nasdaq composite index picked up 54 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,898.

ENERGY: Energy companies gained ground as benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.76, or 4.9 percent, to $37.65 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, added $1.84, or 4.9 percent, to $39.71 per barrel in London. The price of oil has skidded in recent days before making small gains Tuesday. The price of heating oil climbed 5.8 percent to $1.14 a gallon.

Chevron advanced $1.68, or 1.8 percent, to $94.35 and Hess rose $2.71, or 5.3 percent, to $53.97. Exxon Mobil picked up 86 cents, or 1 percent, to $83.07.

UNDONE DEAL: Oilfield services companies Halliburton and Baker Hughes traded higher after the U.S. government sued to block them from combining. Halliburton had agreed to buy its rival for more than $34 billion in November 2014, after oil prices began to fall. Baker Hughes gained $3.11, or 7.9 percent, to $42.47. Halliburton climbed $2.23, or 6.5 percent, to $36.63.

ANOTHER BREAKUP: Health care stocks also surged. Pfizer and Allergan both rose after they called off their merger after the Treasury Department introduced new tax rules that made the deal far less appealing. Pfizer, which agreed to pay $160 billion for the Botox maker, added $1.35, or 4.3 percent, to $32.71. Allergan, which dropped 15 percent on Tuesday, regained $7.74, or 3.3 percent, to $244.29.

Biotechnology companies also rose. Cancer drug maker Celgene gained $5.25, or 5.1 percent, to $107.37 and Vertex Pharmaceuticals climbed $6.32, or 7.5 percent, to $90.48.

STELLAR: Constellation Brands rose $7.76, or 5.1 percent, to $159.12. The owner of Corona, Negra Modelo and Pacifico beers reported solid quarterly results and raised its profit forecasts for the year.

DIM THE LIGHTS: Lighting maker Cree said its sales will fall far short of expectations because of new product delays and software problems. The company said it may take a loss in the third quarter. Its stock lost $4.51, or 15.5 percent, to $24.54.

PAY UP: Electronic payment processing company Global Payments gained $6.09, or 9.3 percent, to $71.24 after it posted strong quarterly results.

HOG TIED: Harley-Davidson took the biggest loss on the S&P 500, as it gave up $3.36, or 6.7 percent, to $46.49. Analyst John Tomlinson of ITG Investment Research said he thinks the motorcycle company lost market share over the first three months of this year, and said he thinks its retail sales in the U.S. will drop in the first quarter.

DIVIDEND DROP: Telecom stocks fell after AT&T and Verizon, the largest publicly traded companies in the industry, prepared to pay billions of dollars in quarterly dividends.

OVERSEAS: Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.2 percent and the CAC 40 in France gained 0.8 percent. Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.1 percent lower and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 0.2 percent. South Korea's KOSPI rose 0.4 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.77 percent from 1.72 percent. The U.S. dollar dipped to 109.69 yen from 110.49 yen. The euro rose to $1.1419 from $1.1385.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at His work can be found at