Stocks moved modestly higher in early trading Tuesday as U.S. markets reopened following the holiday weekend. Materials and energy companies were among the biggest gainers, while utilities and real estate stocks headed lower. A key gauge of housing values showed U.S. home prices increased again in October.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 41 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,974 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time, moving past its intraday record set a week ago. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,273. The Nasdaq composite index rose 47 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,509.
RETAILERS RISE: Several retailers were moving higher in early trading. Bed Bath & Beyond rose 83 cents, or 2 percent, to $41.60, while Gap added 39 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $22.97. Urban Outfitters gained 45 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $28.87.
NEW DRUG: Biogen rose 2.5 percent on news that the Federal Drug Administration approved the company’s treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic disorder. The FDA approved the drug, Spinraza, late Friday. The stock added $7.41 to $294.94.
MANUFACTURING FALLOUT: Endologix slumped 15.2 percent after the drugmaker said that the FDA has ordered it to cease shipping a device used to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms because of manufacturing problems. The company said the problem only affects some sizes of its AFX Endovascular AAA system and that no clinical problems have been reported. Endologix shares lost $1.10 to $6.10.
HOME PRICES: An index of U.S. home prices increased in October, as buyers bidding for scarce properties drove home prices higher. The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.1 percent in October from a year earlier after climbing 5 percent in September. The broader Case-Shiller national home price index was up 5.6 percent in October and has fully recovered from the financial crisis.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 0.2 percent, while the CAC 40 of France was 0.1 percent higher. Markets in Britain are closed for Boxing Day. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was nearly flat. The Kospi of South Korea rose 0.2 percent, while India’s Sensex added 0.8 percent. Markets in Hong Kong and Australia were closed for Boxing Day.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 55 cents, or 1 percent, at $53.57 a barrel in New York. Oil markets were closed Monday for the holiday. On Friday, benchmark U.S. crude gained 7 cents. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 52 cents at $55.67 a barrel in London.
BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.57 percent from 2.54 percent late Friday. Markets were closed Monday for the holiday. In currency trading, the dollar rose to 117.53 yen from 117.26. The euro fell to $1.0441 from $1.0452.
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