Markets Right Now: Stocks are mostly lower at midday

AP News
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Posted: Mar 08, 2017 11:59 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

11:45 a.m.

Stocks are mostly lower in midday trading on Wall Street as declines in high-dividend stocks cancel out gains in materials and health care companies.

A big driver for both trends was a sharp rise in bond yields Wednesday. Bond prices fell and yields rose after a survey of private business payrolls showed employers added the most jobs in three years in February.

The higher yields sent bank stocks higher because they will allow banks to raise interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans. Citigroup rose 2 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1 point to 2,367.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 29 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,894. The Nasdaq composite rose 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,841.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks are off to a mixed start on Wall Street as losses in utilities and other dividend stocks outweigh gains in banks.

Citigroup rose 3.3 percent in early trading Wednesday, while JPMorgan Chase gained 1.4 percent.

Investors bid up bank shares as bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.57 percent.

In earnings news, H&R Block rose 15 percent after posting strong results that indicated a good start to its tax season business.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose less than a point to 2,369.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 5 points to 20,930. The Nasdaq composite rose 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,841.