US Stocks Claw Back Some of Their Big Losses; Oil Slides

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks climbed Tuesday morning, putting at least a temporary halt to the steep market losses that circled the globe in prior days. Asian markets sank sharply earlier in the day, but European markets were mixed.

The price of crude oil continued its sharp slide, and investors are waiting to hear from the Federal Reserve, which begins a two-day meeting on interest rates. Most economists expect it to raise short-term rates by another quarter of a percentage point, but investors hope that it will signal a slower pace of increases ahead.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was up 12 points, or 0.5 percent, at 2,559 as of 10:45 a.m. Eastern time. Most of the market was higher, and the biggest gains came from industrial companies and raw-material producers.

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The index had steep losses of at least 1.9 percent in the two prior days, and it closed Monday at its lowest since two Octobers ago amid worries about slowing economic growth, higher interest and global trade tensions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 177, or 0.8 percent, to 23,773, and the Nasdaq composite gained 46, or 0.7 percent, to 6,800.

TAKING OFF: Boeing surged to one of the market's biggest gains after it raised its dividend 20 percent and increased its stock buyback program by $2 billion to $20 billion. Boeing's stock has struggled recently on worries that the global trade war will hit its profits particularly hard.

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Boeing rose 4.6 percent to $330.69. It helped drive the industrial industry to the biggest gain of the 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500 index, at 1.4 percent.

TAKE ME OUT: Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, jumped 5.5 percent to $104.30 after it raised its forecast for earnings this fiscal year.

It and other companies in the S&P 500 that sell non-essentials to consumers jumped to a collective 1.2 percent rise for one of the market's bigger gains.

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FED MEETING: Most economists expect the Fed to raise its short-term interest rate to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent. The rate helps set borrowing costs for various types of loans, and higher rates can slow economic growth and make stocks look relatively less attractive.

Many investors hope that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will signal a pause in rate increases at his press conference Wednesday afternoon.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 dripped 0.4 percent and the FTSE 100 in London dropped 0.6 percent.

Losses were more severe in Asia. The Nikkei 225 in Japan lost 1.8 percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 1 percent and South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.4 percent.

COMMODITIES: The price of oil continued to tumble after hitting a 14-month low on Monday. Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.11, or 2.2 percent, to $49.09 per barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 91 cents to $58.70 per barrel.

Gold dipped $1.00 to $1,250.80 per ounce.

YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 2.84 percent from 2.85 percent late Monday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 112.56 Japanese yen from 112.75 yen late Monday. The euro rose to $1.1373 from $1.1350, and the British pound rose to $1.2660 from $1.2629.


By AP reporter Stan Choe

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