U.S. stock indexes closed mixed Wednesday afternoon after a morning of gains as Apple leads technology companies higher. Energy companies traded lower as the price of oil continues to slip. Despite the slip, stocks were fairly calm after three days of big, erratic moves.
ON WALL STREET: At the close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 32 points, about 0.2 percent, at 18,034.8. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gave up 1.3 points, about 0.06 percent, to 2,125.8. The Nasdaq composite was up 18.5 points, about 0.4 percent, to 5,173.8.
OIL PRICES: As the markets closed, the price of U.S. benchmark crude fell $1.29 to $44.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, the price of the international benchmark, Brent crude, was down $1.17 at $45.93 a barrel.
BAYER-MONSANTO DEAL: After four months of public negotiations, seed and weedkiller maker Monsanto agreed to be bought by German drug and farm chemical company Bayer. Bayer’s latest offer is worth about $57 billion in cash. Bayer makes a wide range of crop protection chemicals that kill weeds, bugs and fungus, while Monsanto is known for its seeds business and the weedkiller Glyphosate.