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Stocks Finish Monday Mixed             06/18 16:22

   U.S. stocks shrugged off early losses and wound up with a mixed finish 
Monday. 

   NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks shrugged off early losses and wound up with a 
mixed finish Monday. Household goods companies took some of the worst losses as 
the S&P 500 index fell for the third time in four days.

   The S&P 500 dropped as much as 22 points early on. Consumer products and 
packaged foods companies stumbled and drug makers and distributors fell, as did 
health insurers. That came after indexes in Europe and Asia fell. German stocks 
took steep losses as investors wondered if a dispute over migrants could 
eventually threaten the German government.

   But stocks gradually recovered most of their losses as energy companies rose 
along with oil prices and technology companies managed to make some gains as 
well. Smaller and more U.S.-focused companies climbed higher. That continued a 
pattern that has persisted for more than three months.

   It's been a turbulent few months for stocks, but the benchmark S&P 500 is a 
bit higher than it was when international trade tensions started to weigh on 
the market in late February. Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. 
Bank Wealth Management, said it's a good sign that some sectors that have 
struggled are now doing better.

   "It's indicative of a market that's unconvinced that a trade war will 
develop," he said. Still, he said the next month of trading could be choppy as 
investors analyze the latest trade developments and wait for companies to start 
reporting their second-quarter results in mid-July.

   The S&P 500 fell 5.91 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,773.75. The Dow Jones 
industrial average dropped 103.01 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,987.47. The 
Nasdaq composite edged up 0.65 points to 7,747.03.

   The Russell 2000 index rose 8.55 points, or 0.5 percent, to a record 
1,692.46. Many investors feel the smaller and more U.S.-focused companies in 
that index are less vulnerable in the event that a major trade dispute slows 
growth in the global economy. Most of the companies listed on the New York 
Stock Exchange closed higher.

   Drugmaker Biogen suffered the biggest fall of any S&P 500 company following 
positive clinical trial results form a competitor. PTC Therapeutics jumped 27.5 
percent to $47.88 after its report from an early study of a drug intended to 
treat Type 1 spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects infants. 
PTC's drug could affect sales of Biogen's Spinraza, and Biogen lost 5.2 percent 
to $289.12. Its partner Ionis Pharmaceuticals sank 6.4 percent to $43.61

   Volkswagen slumped after German authorities detained Rupert Stadler, the CEO 
of its Audi division, in an extension of the emissions scandal that has rocked 
Volkswagen since 2015. That scandal has led to billions in fines, the arrest of 
executives and the indictment in the U.S. of its former CEO. Volkswagen stock 
fell 3.1 percent in Germany.

   The German DAX fell 1.4 percent, and all 30 stocks on the index ended with 
losses. The CAC 40 in France lost 0.9 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 fell less 
than 0.1 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.8 percent while 
South Korea's Kospi lost 1.2 percent.

   On Saturday the Trump administration launched an investigation into whether 
tariffs are needed on automobiles imported to the U.S. as talks with Canada and 
Mexico over the North American Trade Agreement stalled. A day earlier, 
President Donald Trump said the U.S. will put tariffs of up to 25 percent on 
some Chinese imports starting in July. Those tariffs target industrial and 
agricultural machinery, aerospace parts and communications technology. China 
said it will raise import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, 
including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey.

   Alphabet, Google's parent company, rose after it agreed to invest $550 
million in Chinese e-commerce company JD.com. Alphabet picked up 2.1 percent to 
$1,183.58 while JD.com rose 0.4 percent to $43.76.

   Rent-A-Center jumped 22 percent to $14.68 after private equity firm Vintage 
Capital Management agreed to buy it for $15 a share, or $800 million. 
Rent-A-Center leases household goods on a rent-to-own basis. Clothing company 
Perry Ellis lost 2.7 percent to $27.22 after founder George Feldenkreis started 
buying more stock to take the company private in a deal worth $27.50 a share, 
or $437 million.

   Oil futures rose as investors wait for an OPEC meeting later this week. 
Benchmark U.S. crude added 1.2 percent to $65.85 a barrel in New York. Brent 
crude, used to price international oils, climbed 2.6 percent to $75.34 a barrel 
in London.

   Chevron gained 1.6 percent to $125.97 and ConocoPhillips rose 1.9 percent to 
$66.60.

   Wholesale gasoline rose 1.6 percent to $2.05 a gallon. Heating oil gained 
2.1 percent to $2.13 a gallon. Natural gas fell 2.3 percent to $2.95 per 1,000 
cubic feet.

   Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note 
stayed at 2.92 percent.

   Gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,280.10 an ounce. Silver dipped 0.2 percent to 
$16.44 an ounce. Copper lost 1.2 percent to $3.11 a pound.

   The dollar fell to 110.44 yen from 110.62 yen late Friday. The euro inched 
up to $1.1615 from $1.1607.

   Markets in Hong Kong were closed for the Duanwu Festival commemorating the 
death of Qu Yuan, an ancient Chinese poet and minister.


(BE)

 
 
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