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Tech stocks dip, dividend payers rise as indexes tread water

Technology stocks fell Friday, but gains for utilities and other big dividend payers helped U.S. indexes hold close to record levels. Bond yields gave up some of their big gains from the last few days.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,260 as of 11:40 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 19,868. The Nasdaq composite fell 9, or 0.2 percent, to 5,448. It earlier rose above its record closing level of 5,463.83.

BOND YIELDS RELAX: The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 2.58 percent from 2.60 percent late Thursday, putting at least a temporary halt to its strong rally since last month’s presidential election.

Bond yields had been jumping since Donald Trump’s surprise victory on expectations that faster economic growth and inflation may be on the way. The 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.86 percent on election day.

Yields kept rising this week after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for only the second time in a decade and said that three more increases may be on the way in 2017.

The two-year Treasury yield fell to 1.23 percent Friday from 1.28 percent late Thursday, pulling back from its highest level since the summer of 2009.

DIVIDEND REBOUND: The dip in bond yields helped to halt the weekslong slide for high-dividend stocks, at least temporarily. Utilities, real-estate stocks and telecoms have struggled on worries that higher yields will cause income investors to abandon them in favor of bonds.

Utility stocks rose 1.3 percent, the most among the 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500. Real-estate stocks rose 1.1 percent.

JUMPING JABIL: Jabil Circuit rose $3.39, or 15.7 percent, to $24.95 after reporting stronger earnings for its latest quarter than analysts expected.

SLIDING ORACLE: Oracle fell $1.89, or 4.6 percent, to $38.97 after reporting revenue for its latest quarter that fell short of analysts’ expectations. It was one of the biggest drops in the S&P 500.

BURRITO BOARD: Chipotle Mexican Grill jumped $8.42, or 2.2 percent, to $390.77 after the company announced a shake-up of its board. Four new directors will join the board, as part of an agreement with activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square.

MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 was close to flat. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent.

COMMODITIES: Crude oil rose 86 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $51.76 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.15 cents to $55.17 a barrel in London.

Gold recovered a bit after falling to its lowest price in 10 months on Thursday. It rose $9.70, or 0.9 percent, to $1,139.50.90 per ounce. Silver rose 1.5 percent, and copper fell 1.5 percent.

DOLLAR: The dollar’s recent ascent against other currencies stalled. The euro rose to $1.0455 from $1.0424 after hitting its weakest level against the dollar since early 2003 on Thursday. The dollar dipped to 117.76 Japanese yen from 117.93 late Thursday.

The dollar had been on a mostly upward trend against other currencies since 2014, a result of the U.S. economy’s comparative strength over others around the world. The dollar’s rise accelerated after the Fed’s move on Wednesday.


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