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TUESDAY MARKETS: Stocks are mixed as household goods makers rise, banks fall

Technology and household goods companies are edging higher while banks and energy companies fall Wednesday morning. That’s leaving U.S. stocks little changed overall. Kroger is jumping after saying it will consider selling its convenience store business. Luxury handbag maker Coach is falling after saying it will change its name to Tapestry.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was unchanged at 2,550 as of 10:50 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 8 points to 22,838 after a record-high close on Tuesday. The Nasdaq composite rose 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,591. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,509.

ATTENTION SHOPPERS: Grocery store company Kroger said it will consider selling or spinning off its grocery store business, which has almost 800 locations in 18 states under names like Tom Thumb and QuickStop. It had $1.4 billion in revenue in 2016. Kroger also said it plans to redesign some stores, find new sources of revenue and boost its profit margins. The stock jumped 66 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $21.19.

CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF: Delta Air Lines’ profit and revenue were better than analysts anticipated and the company also issued a strong forecast for the fourth quarter. Delta rose 29 cents to $52.99 and it has surged 10 percent since Oct. 3, when it raised its expectations for the third quarter. JetBlue gained 48 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $20.72. The airline said hurricanes Irma and Maria reduced its revenue in the third and fourth quarters by more than $110 million, but investors may have expected worse.

Southwest Airlines added 73 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $58.74.

J&J MEETS FDA: Johnson & Johnson climbed after the company asked regulators to approve its drug apalutamide. It’s intended for patients with a hard-to-treat form of prostate cancer. Johnson & Johnson stock climbed $2.36, or 1.8 percent, to $136.26.

TAKE ME OUT, COACH: Luxury handbag and accessories maker Coach said it will change its name to Tapestry at the end of October. The company bought the Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands over the last few years and said it wants its name to reflect its growth beyond the iconic Coach brand. The stock lost 78 cents, or 2 percent, to $39.22.

OH NO, CANADA: Sears sagged after the company’s former Canadian unit asked a court to allow it to liquidate its 130 remaining stores. Sears Canada said it couldn’t find a buyer to allow it to stay in business. Sears Canada was split off from Sears Holdings in 2014, but Sears, too, has been struggling for years and has closed hundreds of stores as it tries to survive. On Wednesday the stock lost 20 cents, or 3 percent, to $6.50.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.34 percent from 2.36 percent. That sent affected bank stocks because lower yields mean lower interest rates on loans, and lower profits for banks. JPMorgan Chase fell 64 cents to $96.49 and SunTrust Banks slid 35 cents to $60.41.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 1cent to $50.93 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 11 cents to $56.50 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.25 yen from 112.37 yen. The euro rose to $1.1842 from $1.1804.

OVERSEAS: France’s CAC 40 fell 0.2 percent and the German DAX added 0.1 percent. In Britain the FTSE 100 was little changed. The Spainish Ibex 35 rose 1.3 percent after the Catalan regional government stopped short of declaring independence. Late Tuesday regional President Carles Puigdemont said Catalonia should hold talks with the Spanish central government after a landslide result in an independence referendum earlier this month.

The Madrid-based government has given few hints it is willing to talk since it does not consider the vote to be valid.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent and closed at another 21-year high. South Korea’s Kospi rose 1 percent but the Hang Seng in Hong Kong ended 0.4 percent lower.


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