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VOL. 40 | NO. 46 | Friday, November 11, 2016

US stocks make small gains as banks trade higher

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S.stocks are mostly higher Thursday morning as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen emphasizes that the Fed plans to raise interest rates, which is sending bond yields higher and giving banks a boost. Companies that make and sell food and household goods are lagging the market after Wal-Mart and Smucker announced disappointing sales.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 7 points to 18,860 as of 10:45 a.m. Eastern as Wal-Mart and Cisco Systems slumped. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,181. The Nasdaq composite added 14 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,308.

YELLEN FOCUS: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said again that the Fed is more likely to raise interest rates soon. She is testifying before Congress, and in prepared remarks, Yellen sketched a picture of an improving U.S. economy. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates when it meets in mid-December. She added that if the Fed keeps waiting now and later raises rates too quickly, that increases the risk of a recession.

Bond prices slipped. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.25 percent from 2.22 percent. Bond yields rise when investors expect higher interest rates.

WAL-MART HITS A WALL: Wal-Mart announced disappointing sales in its third quarter. The retailer's profit also fell as it invested more money in its stores and its online business. The stock lost $2.85, or 4 percent, to $68.54. Warehouse club operator Costco lost $1.86, or 1.2 percent, to $150.28 and grocery store chain Kroger slid 75 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $32.95. Online competitor Amazon rose $3.88 to $750.37.

CISCO, OH NO: Cisco Systems fell after its earnings forecast disappointed Wall Street. The seller of routers, switches, software and services forecast a smaller-than-expected profit for its second fiscal quarter. That canceled out a strong first-quarter report. The stock gave up $1.85, or 5.9 percent, to $29.72.

NICE NETAPP: Data storage company NetApp jumped after it reported a bigger profit than analysts expected for the fiscal second quarter and gave a very strong outlook for the current quarter. The stock gained $3.03, or 8.7 percent, to $37.76.

OIL DEAL: Oil refining company Tesoro will buy Western Refining for $37.30 a share, a deal the companies valued at $4.1 billion. The stock closed at $30.50 on Wednesday, and it jumped $7.24, or 23.8 percent, to $37.74. Tesoro shares rose $2.31, or 2.7 percent, to $88.05.

GOING HUNGRY: Jam and jellies maker J.M. Smucker disclosed weak sales and its stock shed $4.53, or 3.5 percent, to $125.42. Tyson Foods fell $3.14, or 4.5 percent, to $65.88 and Kraft Heinz gave up 78 cents to $81.62.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude picked up 29 cents to $45.86 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, added 29 cents to $46.92 a barrel in London.

BEST BUYING: Greater sales of mobile phones and increased online sales helped electronics retailer Best Buy post a strong third quarter, and the company forecast a larger fourth-quarter profit than analysts had expected. The stock climbed $2.98, or 7.4 percent, to $43.43.

VALEANT RETREATS: The Canadian drugmaker's stock fell after federal prosecutors said a former Valeant executive and the former CEO of Philidor Rx Services, a specialty pharmacy connected to Valeant, were involved in a multimillion-dollar fraud and kickback scheme. The stock lost 80 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $17.06.

CLOUDY SKIES: First Solar, the biggest solar panel maker based in the U.S., fell after said it will cut a quarter of its jobs. That's around 1,600 positions. The company also said it will stop production at its only U.S. facility. The stock skidded $1.38, or 4 percent, to $31.42.

DOLLAR: The dollar rose to 109.43 yen from 109.15 yen. The euro rose to $1.0683 from $1.0681. The ICE U.S. dollar index rose slightly. It's at its highest level in 13 years.

OVERSEAS: The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares added 0.4 percent and the CAC 40 in France added 0.3 percent. Germany's DAX shed 0.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 was flat and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong eased 0.1 percent. The Kospi in South Korea inched higher.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
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