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US stocks rise slightly in afternoon trade; Japan sinks

U.S. stock indexes were slightly higher Monday afternoon, recovering some of last week’s steep declines. Japan’s market fell sharply.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 77 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,850 as of 1:09 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose eight points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,074 and the Nasdaq composite was up 11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,786. Last week the market had its biggest decline since February.

JAPANESE DISAPPOINTMENT: Japan’s Nikkei stock index fell more than 3 percent overnight as markets reopened after a holiday. The market fell as Japanese investors continued to react negatively to the Bank of Japan’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged. The Japanese yen also continues to climb sharply, which hurts Japanese exporters.

CALLED OFF: Halliburton rose after a $34 billion merger with Baker Hughes was called off following antitrust concerns from the Justice Department. Halliburton rose $1.25, or 3 percent, to $42.55. Baker Hughes was down $1.26, or 3 percent, to $47.10.

GET AN EDUCATION: Apollo Education Group, which runs the University of Phoenix, is rising sharply after a group of investors raised their bid for the company. Apollo rose 78 cents, or 10 percent, to $8.58.

MANUFACTURING: U.S. manufacturing expanded in April for the second straight month, suggesting that factories are adapting to a strong dollar and economic weakness overseas, according to a private survey. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its manufacturing index came in at 50.8 last month, down from March’s 51.8 reading but above the threshold of 50 that signals growth.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell $1.11 to $44.80 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell $1.39 to $45.99 a barrel in London.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.85 percent from 1.82 percent late Friday. The dollar slipped to 106.42 yen from 106.73 yen while the euro strengthened to $1.1529 from $1.1454.

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