Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

June 26, 2014

Stocks edge higher despite data

By Ken Sweet AP Markets Writer
Greensburg Daily News

---- — NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks moved higher Wednesday, recovering half of the losses they posted the day before, as investors set aside two disappointing economic reports. Monsanto jumped after the company announced a big stock buyback plan and posted earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. CBS and other broadcasters rose after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of them over a startup Internet company in a closely watched copyright case.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,869 as of 11:33 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,955 and the Nasdaq composite was up 11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,362.

BROADCAST BOOST: CBS and other TV companies advanced after the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo would have to pay them when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones and other portable devices. CBS rose $2.93, or 5 percent, to $61.77 and Walt Disney, which owns ABC, rose $1.19, or 1.4 percent, to $83.87. TV station owners also rose. Sinclair Broadcasting jumped $4.27, or 15 percent, to $33.51.

THE ECONOMY: In a revised estimate, the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy shrank at annual rate of 2.9 percent in the first three months of the year.

Two-thirds of the downward revision reflected a decline in health care spending. The Commerce Department also said orders for long-lasting goods sank 1 percent in May as demand for military equipment fell sharply.

THE CONTEXT: The first quarter GDP report was disappointing, but investors dismissed the figure as being too backward-looking. The first quarter ended nearly three months ago, and the economy was heavily impacted winter storms at the time.

“We need to be looking toward earnings season next month, not at a report from three months ago,” said Anastasia Amoroso, a global market strategist with J.P. Morgan Funds.

FERTILE SOIL: Monsanto’s earnings fell more than 5 percent but its overall results still beat analysts’ estimates. The company, which sells corn and soybean seeds, also announced plans to spend up to $10 billion on buying its own stock. Monsanto rose $6.10 to $126.73.

RIPPED PAGES: Barnes & Noble jumped $1.26, or 6 percent, to $21.80 after the bookseller said it would become two publicly traded companies, one focused on retail bookselling and one on its Nook Media business, which sells electronic reading devices.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, which falls when prices rise, dropped to 2.55 percent from 2.58 percent late Tuesday. Crude oil rose 6 cents to $106.09.