Stocks Home In On Records As Energy Companies Rise

By MARLEY JAY

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising, putting major indexes on track to close at record highs, as energy companies climb with the price of oil. Investors are hoping that OPEC countries will soon finalize a deal that would cut oil production and help support prices. The start of the week once again brought several corporate deals, with companies in the energy and technology industry making moves.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 69 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,936 as of 3:05 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,195. The Nasdaq composite gained 41 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,362. The Dow has been setting records since the presidential election earlier this month, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq reached all-time highs this summer. Small-company stocks, which are at record highs already, also continued to climb.

If stocks close around their current levels, it will be the first time all of those indexes set records on the same day since December 31, 1999, according to Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose to its highest price this month. It gained $1.80, or 3.9 percent, to $47.49 a barrel while Brent crude, the international standard, rose $2.04, or 4.4 percent, to $48.90 a barrel in London. That led to gains for energy companies. Marathon Oil added 80 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $16.42 and Exxon Mobil added $1.12, or 1.3 percent, to $86.40.

OPEC nations will meet in Vienna on Nov. 30. They have agreed to preliminary terms of a deal that will reduce the production of oil slightly, but the details remain to be determined.

THE QUOTE: Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, said investors are encouraged that OPEC is trying to limit production. But she doesn't think a deal, if one happens, will have much effect on oil prices.

"There's nothing to suggest the agreement's going to hold," she said. "When all is said and done, supply and demand will ultimately dictate the price."

CHICKENING OUT: Meat producer Tyson Foods tumbled $9.82, or 14.6 percent, to $57.95. The company's fourth-quarter profit and sales fell far short of Wall Street's forecasts as Tyson's chicken business struggled. The company also said CEO Donnie Smith will step down at the end of this year, and company president Tom Hayes will replace him.

Competitor Hormel Foods lost 66 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $34.92.

LOCKED UP: Identity theft and fraud protection company LifeLock jumped $3.12, or 15 percent, to $23.87 after security software maker Symantec agreed to buy the company for $2.3 billion. The deal values LifeLock at $24 a share. Symantec picked up 90 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $24.65, a sign investors approve of the purchase.

WATERS RISING: Building products company Headwaters agreed to be bought by Boral Ltd. of Australia in a deal the companies valued at $2.6 billion, or $24.25 per share. Its stock climbed $3.50, or 17.4 percent, to $23.59.

OIL DEAL: Sunoco Logistics agreed to buy Energy Transfer Partners in an all-stock deal worth about $20 billion. Both companies are involved in the Dakota Access oil pipeline, a project that's been the subject of protests for months. A portion of that pipeline would pump oil under Lake Oahe, a reservoir in North Dakota, and the local Standing Rock Sioux tribe say they fear a leak could contaminate the drinking water on its reservation. They also say the pipeline could disturb sacred sites.

Both companies traded lower after the deal was announced. Energy Transfer Partners lost $3.62, or 9.2 percent, to $35.75 and Sunoco Logistics skidded $2.03, or 7.8 percent, to $24.16. Energy Transfer Equity, the general partner of Energy Transfer Partners, picked up 47 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $17.76.

LOGGING ON: Technology stocks also made substantial gains. They have lagged the market since the election after very strong performance over the summer. Facebook rose $4.64, or 4 percent, to $121.66 while online payments company PayPal advanced 43 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $40.51 and Alphabet, the corporate parent of Google, picked up $9.07, or 1.2 percent, to $785.04.

MATERIAL MOVEMENT: Copper and gold producer Freeport-McMoran climbed 67 cents, or 4.9 percent, to $14.41 as the price of copper rose. Fertilizer makers CF Industries and Mosaic both traded higher. CF Industries added 84 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $29.80 and Mosaic rose 65 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $28.91.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped after trading at 13-year highs last week. The euro rose to $1.0611 from $1.0599. The dollar rose to 111.11 yen from 110.63 yen.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.33 percent from 2.35 percent. Utilities traded higher. Those stocks tend to do better when bond yields fall because investors seeking income buy them for their high dividends.

OTHER ENERGY TRADING: Wholesale gasoline gained 6 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $1.40 a gallon. Heating oil rose 7 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $1.52 per gallon. Natural gas rose 11 cents, or 4 percent, to $2.95 per 1,000 cubic feet.

METALS: Gold inched up $1.10 to $1,209.80 an ounce. Silver lost 10 cents to $16.52 an ounce. Copper climbed 5 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $2.52 a pound.

OVERSEAS: France's CAC-40 index rose 0.6 percent while the DAX of Germany picked up 0.2 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain rose less than 0.1 percent. The Nikkei 225 of Japan rose 0.8 percent. South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.4 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong edged up less than 0.1 percent.

____

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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