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Banking stocks lead the way as U.S. stocks rebound

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Traders followed stock prices at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

NEW YORK » U.S. stocks are inching higher today after sharp sell-offs last week. Strong results from investment bank Morgan Stanley gave financial stocks a boost, but energy and mining stocks continued to slump.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 54 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,042 as of 12:30 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,884. The Nasdaq composite index lost one point to 4,487.

U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. Stocks fell sharply on Friday, and the first two weeks of this year were the worst start to a year in the history of the Dow and the S&P 500. Both indices have fallen about 8 percent so far in 2016 on concerns about the Chinese economy, which is the second-largest in the world and an important contributor to global growth.

BANKING STOCKS: Morgan Stanley traded higher after the company said it turned a profit in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley reported better results from its wealth management business and investment banking. Its shares picked up 21 cents to $26.18. Goldman Sachs, which will report its earnings Wednesday, rose 73 cents to $156.34.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 43 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $28.99 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 74 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $29.29.

Energy and mining stocks continued to fall on concerns about reduced worldwide demand. Chesapeake Energy lost 36 cents, or 10.1 percent, to $3.20. The price of gold declined, and Newmont Mining lost $1.43, or 8.1 percent, to $16.27.

TIFFANY TUMBLES: Jewelry retailer Tiffany fell after it said sales dropped in the fourth quarter. The company also forecast minimal growth in 2016. The stock lost $3.21, or 4.7 percent, to $64.44.

EARNINGS: Delta Air Lines reported a bigger fourth-quarter profit because of falling fuel prices. Delta expects fuel to be even less expensive in the first quarter. Its shares rose $1.63, or 3.7 percent, to $46.13. Health insurer UnitedHealth Group posted stronger-than-expected results in the fourth quarter. Its stock rose $2.97, or 2.7 percent, to $112.24.

IPOS A NO-GO: So far not a single U.S. company has gone public this year, according to Kathy Smith of Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused exchange-traded funds. That should change this week, as Elevate Capital, which offers credit and related services to people with below-average credit, is expected to start trading Friday. But Smith said only two companies will go public this month. There were also just two IPOs in December, the fewest in any month since October 2011.

“The IPO market is pretty close to being closed,” Smith said.

Companies are reluctant to go public when the market is weak, and the companies that did go public last year weren’t rewarded for it: Smith says the companies that completed their IPOs in 2015 are down an average of 17 percent from their offering prices.

OVERSEAS: European and Asian stocks rallied after China’s quarterly economic growth met expectations. While growth in China continues to slow down, the results calmed investors who thought conditions might get worse. Still, the Chinese government reported that annual growth hit a 25-year low in 2015.

France’s CAC 40 rose 2 percent and Germany’s DAX added 1.5 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 1.7 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite surged 3.2 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 2.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.5 percent.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar edged up to 117.59 yen from 117.50 yen on Monday. The euro rose to $1.0921 from $1.0885. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which has slumped this year, dipped to 2.03 percent from 2.04 percent.

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