U.S. stocks rose but closed mixed Tuesday as energy companies built on their surge from a day earlier. The price of oil surpassed $50 a barrel for the first time in almost a year. Phone companies rose as bond yields fell.
ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was up just 18 points, about 0.1 percent, at 17,938.3. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 2.7 points, about 0.1 percent, to 2,112.1. The Nasdaq composite index slipped nearly 7 points, about 0.1 percent, to 4,961.8.
OIL PRICES: As markets closed, the benchmark U.S. crude oil added 71 cents to $50.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, added 92 cents to $51.47 a barrel.
Among energy companies, Chevron rose $2.31, or 2.3 percent, to $103.48 while Newfield Exploration added $1.94, or 4.9 percent, to $41.88. Helmerich & Payne gained $2.79, or 4.3 percent, to $67.53.
AROUND THE MARKET: Bond prices rose, sending the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note down to 1.71 percent from 1.74 percent. That made bonds less appealing, and sent income-seeking investors into phone company stocks. Verizon added $1.09, or 2.1 percent, to $51.80. Industrial stocks rose as airlines traded higher. Southwest Airlines picked up $1.32, or 3.2 percent, to $43.09 and Delta rose $1, or 2.4 percent, to $42.28.
ANALYST’S OPINION: The dollar plunged following Friday’s jobs report as investors concluded that the Fed won’t raise interest rates any time soon. That has helped energy companies by putting upward pressure on the price of crude oil. “When you get a Fed that is now perceived to be lower for longer [on interest rates], with a dollar that is less likely to rally, and an economy that may be slowing but is not in recession, that has tended to be a positive for those stocks in 2016,” said analyst Julian Emanuel, U.S. equities and derivatives strategist for UBS.