US Stocks Add to 2 Weeks of Gains 06/17 15:50

US Stocks Add to 2 Weeks of Gains      06/17 15:50

   U.S. stocks posted slight gains on Wall Street on Monday, adding a bit to 
the last two weeks of gains.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks posted slight gains on Wall Street on Monday, 
adding a bit to the last two weeks of gains.

   However, trading remains choppy as uncertainty continued over several 
ongoing trade disputes and their possible effect on economic growth.

   The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 22.92 points, or 0.1%, to 
26,112.53. The S&P 500 index rose 2.69 points, or 0.1%, to 2,889.67 and the 
Nasdaq composite index rose 48.37 points, or 0.6%, to 7,845.02.

   Financial companies were the biggest losers as bond yields slipped. The KBW 
Bank index, a measurement of the 24 biggest banks, fell 1.3%.

   The muted gains mirror last week's pattern of choppy day-to-day trading as 
investors search for direction ahead of an interest rate decision by the 
Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

   Investors focused on a round of deal-making, while continuing to pay close 
attention to the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

   The current impact from the spat between the U.S. and China isn't enough to 
cause a recession, but a further escalation of tensions could become a trigger, 
according to Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth for 

   "I think that's why investors are so focused on this trade issue," he said. 
"In a worst case scenario, we're talking about a 1.5% GDP impact."

   The worst-case scenario would involve additional tariffs on Chinese goods 
along with other global tariffs, including the currently postponed actions 
against Mexico.

   The S&P 500 eked out a modest gain of 0.5% last week. Investors have been 
swinging between risky and safe-play holdings on a lack of developments in the 
ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. Jitters over trade disputes and 
their impact on global economic growth have created a volatile market.

   Array BioPharma surged 57% after announcing that it had agreed to be bought 
by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for $11.4 billion.

   Array currently makes an advanced skin cancer treatment and has a deep 
pipeline of cancer drugs in development. Pfizer makes a wide range of cancer 
and other drugs. It is the biggest U.S. drugmaker by revenue. Pfizer rose 0.3% 
to $42.87 a share.

   New York auction house Sotheby's surged 58.6% after announcing its sale to 
Patrick Drahi, a media and telecom entrepreneur and art collector.

   Other companies were also moving after announcing deals. 

   Oilfield services company C&J Energy Services surged 20% after announcing it 
is being bought by rival Keane Group in an all-stock deal. LegacyTexas 
Financial Group rose roughly 2% after it announced a $2.1 billion cash and 
stock sale to regional bank Prosperity Bancshares.

   Align Technology fell more than 6% after the medical device maker ended 
discussions about a potential distribution deal with Straumann Group. The 
company focuses on products for the dental industry. The deal was initially 
part of a patent dispute settlement with a unit of Straumann. Instead, Align 
will receive a $16 million payment.

   In other trading, benchmark crude oil fell 1.1% to settle at $51.93 a 
barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, dropped 1.7% to close at 
$60.94 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline fell 2.4% to $1.69 per gallon. Heating oil 
was down 1.6% to $1.80 per gallon. Natural gas was mostly unchanged at $2.39 
per 1,000 cubic feet.

   Gold edged down 0.1% to $1,342.90 per ounce, silver rose 0.2% to $14.83 per 
ounce and copper rose 0.6% to $2.65 per pound.

   The dollar rose to 108.57 Japanese yen from 108.55 yen on Friday. The euro 
weakened to $1.1216 from $1.1207. 


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