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Specialist Thomas McArdle, left, works with traders at the post that handles Dow Chemical on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. U.S. stocks are mixed in early trading as investors pick up some bargains after a two-day losing streak. Dow Chemical and DuPont both rose sharply following reports that the two companies were talking about a combination. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks shake off a two-day slump; materials rebound

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are mostly higher in early trading Wednesday as investors buy beaten-down stocks after two days of losses. Energy companies and suppliers of raw materials, heavily sold this year, rose sharply along with the price of oil and other commodities. Dow Chemical and DuPont soared following reports the two were in talks to combine, while Costco fell after reporting disappointing earnings.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 102 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,668 at 11:24 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,068. The Nasdaq composite slipped 21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,076.

LAST IS FIRST: The biggest losers on Tuesday were the biggest winners on Wednesday. Suppliers of raw materials jumped 4 percent, the largest gain among the 10 sectors of the S&P 500. Freeport McMoRan, a miner that fell 7 percent on Tuesday, gained 8 percent.

THE QUOTE: The market is “snapping back because it probably got oversold,” said Bryn Mawr Trust Chief Investment Officer Ernie Cecilia. “But the volatility is likely to continue,” he said, adding that his firm hasn’t bought miners or energy companies yet today.

EARNINGS MISS: Costco fell $7.18, or 4 percent, to $161.69 after reporting weaker earnings than analysts were expecting.

DOW DEAL? Dow Chemical and DuPont each jumped more than 11 percent after several news reports that the two chemical giants are talking of combining. Dow Chemical rose $5.70 to $56.60. DuPont climbed $7.57 to $74.17.

OIL UP: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 61 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $38.12. That helped lift oil drillers and other energy companies. Two Dow components, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, each rose more 2 percent.

EUROPE MIXED: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX each fell 0.1 percent.

VW ROARS: Volkswagen jumped 6 percent after the German carmaker said that a problem with carbon dioxide emissions is far smaller than initially suspected. It had earlier noted “unexplained inconsistencies” in emissions from as many as 800,000 vehicles. The case comes on top of the scandal over its cheating on U.S. emissions tests for a different gas, nitrogen oxide.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.0 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.1 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: The price of U.S. government bonds fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.26 percent from 2.22 percent late Tuesday. The U.S. dollar fell to 121.93 yen, down from 123.05 yen. The euro rose to $1.0982 from $1.0890.

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