Stocks close with gains


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the afternoon of Aug. 5, 2014 on Wall Street. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

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Financial markets fluctuated in midafternoon Wednesday but closed with modest gains. Molson Coors jumped after reporting strong earnings.

At the close on Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up less than a point at 1,920.2. The Dow Jones industrial average was up nearly 14 points, or 0.08 percent, at 16,443.3. The Nasdaq composite ended with a 2.2-point gain, or 0.05 percent, to 4,355.1.

HIGHER BEER PRICES: Molson Coors closed up $3.87 at $71.08 after the company said its second-quarter profit rose 9 percent. Better pricing offset a global decline in the volume of beer sales, the company reported.

ENERGY REBOUND: U.S. crude oil for September steadied after dropping about 7 percent in the last two months. The price of oil was still down, but by 23 cents, or just 0.2 percent, to $97.16 in New York. Natural gas prices halted a slump. Energy stocks were among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500, climbing 0.9 percent.

NO DEALS: Sprint plunged $1.34, or 18.4 percent, to $5.95 after the company said that it was abandoning its pursuit of T-Mobile US Inc. Sprint would have struggled to convince regulators to approve a merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 cellphone carriers in the nation, according to a story by The Wall Street Journal. Sprint is also replacing its longtime CEO.

Time Warner fell $10.94, or 12.8 percent, to $74.16 after Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox said it was dropping its attempt to take over the company. The deal would have combined two of the world's biggest media conglomerates. Twenty-First Century Fox gained $1.65, or 5.3 percent, to $32.95.

UKRAINE JITTERS: Poland's prime minister said on Wednesday he had information indicating that there is a growing threat of a "direct intervention" by Russia in Ukraine. Global markets dropped Tuesday after news reports of a buildup of Russian troops on the Ukraine border.

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TRADING RANGE: Stocks may oscillate in a trading range in coming days as investors follow developments in Ukraine and assess their impact on the global economy, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "The market's worst enemy has always been, and always will be, uncertainty," said Cardillo.

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