U.S. stock markets are slightly higher in a quiet start to Wednesday trading as energy companies rise with the price of oil. Phone and utility companies are slipping. Beer makers AB InBev and Molson Coors are rising after SABMiller’s shareholders approved the $103 billion deal that will combine InBev with SABMiller, forming the world’s largest brewe.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,239 as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index inched up less than a point to 2,160. The Nasdaq composite rose a point to 5,306.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 68 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $45.35 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, the international standard, rose 80 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $47.32 a barrel in London. Oil prices jumped 3 percent Monday and then fell 3 percent Tuesday as investors wondered if the nations of OPEC would strike a deal to limit production and strengthen prices. That looks unlikely for now.
Exxon Mobil gained 52 cents to $83.76 and Anadarko Petroleum added 91 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $59.18.
BEERS ALL AROUND: Stockholders in SABMiller approved its combination with AB InBev. That vote was one of the last hurdles in the giant beer merger, which has already been cleared by regulators. Some investors saw their payout shrink after Britain voted to leave the European Union. AB InBev stock rose 56 cent to $132.44. As part of the deal, Molson Coors will gain full ownership of its joint venture with SABMiller, MillerCoors. Its stock climbed $1.72, or 1.6 percent, to $109.25.
SLEEPLESS NIGHTS: Tempur Sealy International tumbled after the company said third-quarter sales aren’t meeting its expectations. It cut its guidance and sale it expects revenue to fall as much as 3 percent this year. That suggests sales of no more than $3.12 billion, while FactSet says analysts expected $3.23 billion on average. Tempur Sealy stock dropped $16.67, or 22.4 percent, to $57.78.
JUST DIDN’T DO IT: Nike’s profit and sales were stronger than analysts expected, but the athletic apparel maker’s stock slipped 87 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $54.47 as investors worried about challenges including slower orders in North America. Credit Suisse analyst Azar Boehm said orders in that market have been slowing down and are now at their slowest pace in five years as competition grows. Nike is down about 13 percent this year. Rival Under Armour picked up 19 cents to $39.38.
SNAPPY DRESSERS: Uniform rental company Cintas reported a bigger profit than analysts expected in its fiscal first quarter and it raised its projections for the year. Cintas stock added $3.99, or 3.5 percent, to $117.42.
DEUTSCHE BANK RELIEF: Deutsche Bank stock traded higher after the German bank said it will sell a life insurance subsidiary and emphasized it is not seeking government aid. The company is selling its Abby Life unit to Phoenix Life Holdings for about $1.2 billion. Deutsche Bank said the sale improves its financial position. Investors have been worrying about its ability to pay a $14 billion claim from the U.S. government, and Deutsche Bank’s U.S. stock has lost more than half its value this year, but rose 26 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $12.18 in morning trading.
BONDS, CURRENCY: Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.55 percent from 1.56 percent. The dollar rose to 100.52 yen from 100.27 yen and the euro inched down to $1.1215 from $1.1221.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX rose 1.2 percent while the CAC-40 in France added 1.3 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 gained 0.8 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.3 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was unchanged. Seoul’s Kospi added 0.9 percent.
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