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US Stock Indexes Tread Water Wednesday 01/29 09:30

   Stocks gave up an early gain Wednesday and were treading water in 
mid-morning trading. The market had gotten off to a strong start following 
strong earnings from several big companies.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks gave up an early gain Wednesday and were treading 
water in mid-morning trading. The market had gotten off to a strong start 
following strong earnings from several big companies.

   Homebuilders slumped following a report that Americans pulled back on 
signing contracts to buy homes last month. Health care stocks were also broadly 
lower after health insurer Anthem delivered a weak earnings forecast.

   Apple rose after reporting solid profit gains, and industrial stocks also 
rose. Boeing rose 2.8% and railroads climbed on a good report from Norfolk 
Southern. General Electric surged 8.2% after a strong showing from its aviation 
business pushed profits above expectations.

   Victoria's Secret parent company L Brands soared following a report that its 
long-serving CEO might leave.

   Wall Street is in the middle of a busy week for corporate earnings. 
Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla will release earnings later Wednesday. Coca-Cola, 
UPS, Amazon and Visa will report results on Thursday. Caterpillar and Exxon 
Mobil will report results on Friday.

   The deadly coronavirus is still a potential threat to the global economy, 
but Wall Street has managed to set aside those concerns, for now. The lockdown 
in China has trapped more than 50 million people in the most far-reaching 
disease control measures ever imposed. The outbreak has infected more than 
6,000 on the mainland and abroad.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index edged up 0.1% as of 10:23 a.m. Eastern 
time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70 points, or 0.2%, to 28,792. It 
was up as much as 221 earlier. The Nasdaq was little changed. The Russell 2000 
index of smaller company stocks fell 0.2%.

   Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.61%. 

   European markets rose and Asian markets were mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng 
fell 2.8% after its markets reopened from Lunar New Year holidays, while other 
Chinese markets remained closed.

   FRESH SCENT: L Brands skyrocketed 13.2% following reports that the owner of 
Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret could change leadership and sell off 
some of its parts. The Wall Street Journal reported that Leslie Wexner, who has 
served as CEO for more than five decades, is in talks to step down. It also 
said the company is considering a full or partial sale of its lingerie business.

   HOLIDAY CRISP: Apple rose 2% after a strong holiday season helped propel 
profits beyond Wall Street forecasts. The iPhone maker's surprisingly good 
report marks a turnaround from a year ago when sales of its marquee product 
appeared to be sliding. The company is also seeing gains in sales of 
smartwatches, digital services and wireless earbuds.

   ON TRACK: Norfolk Southern climbed 6.9% after the railroad reported 
surprisingly good fourth-quarter profits on cost cuts. The railroad industry 
has been experiencing weak demand for freight hauling and the company is trying 
to operate on a tighter schedule and move more freight with fewer people.

   Union Pacific rose 2.1% and CSX climbed 1.9%. 


(CZ)

 
 
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