US stocks dip in early trading; solar stocks and Avon soar

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly lower in early trading Thursday after a big rally the day before. Mining companies fell along with the price of gold and copper, while a proposed Congressional budget deal sent solar power companies higher. Indexes jumped Wednesday after the Federal Reserve...

 
              This July 9, 2015 photo shows a Wall Street sign near the New York Stock Exchange in New York.  Asian stocks posted broad gains Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 after the Federal Reserve ended protracted uncertainty in markets by raising interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade and signaling that further increases will be gradual. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly lower in early trading Thursday after a big rally the day before. Mining companies fell along with the price of gold and copper, while a proposed Congressional budget deal sent solar power companies higher. Indexes jumped Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average declined 66 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,680 as of 10:18 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 11points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,061. The Nasdaq composite index lost nine points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,062.

FED GAINS FADE: Stocks jumped Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, a long-expected vote of confidence in the U.S. economy. Investors were encouraged that the Fed emphasized that further increases will be gradual. The Fed hadn't raised interest rates since 2006. The S&P 500 finished the day 1.5 percent higher.

FEDEX DELIVERS: Shipping company FedEx said its quarterly profit grew as online shopping increased and costs in its express-delivery business came down. FedEx also said it thinks holiday shipments will rise by more than 12 percent from a year ago. FedEx rose $4.05, or 2.7 percent, to $152.88.

AVON GETS A CALL: Avon Products rose after the beauty products retailer said it will sell its North American business to Cerberus Capital Management for $170 million. Cerberus will also invest $435 million in the remaining Avon business. Avon gained 31 cents, or 7.5 percent, to $4.40.

MINERS SLIDE: The price of gold sank $26.30, or 2.4 percent, to $1,050.50 an ounce and copper fell 3 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $2.04 a pound. Those canceled out gains from Wednesday. Newmont Mining dropped $1.42, or 7.4 percent, to $17.66 and Freeport-McMoRan lost 36 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $6.33.

SOLAR POWER SHINES: Solar power stocks continued to rise after Congress agreed to extend a federal tax credit for commercial and residential solar products. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said a budget deal between Democrats and Republicans will extend the 30 percent credit through 2019.

SolarCity gained $2.32, or 4.3 percent, to $56.01 and Sunrun added 81 cents, or 7 percent, to $12.44. The stocks are up 50 percent and 58 percent this week, respectively. First Solar lost $1.16, or 1.8 percent, to $64.47 and is up 17 percent this week.

PANDORA: Streaming music company Pandora Media surged. A panel of copyright judges raised the amount that streaming companies like Pandora have to pay to record labels, but less than many had expected. Pandora jumped $2.36, or 17.6 percent, to $15.80.

CEREAL SLIDE: Cheerios maker General Mills delivered a mixed earnings report, and its shares lost $2.03, or 3.4 percent, to $57.16.

EUROPE: Germany's DAX rose 2.8 percent while the CAC-40 in France rose 1.7 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares rose 0.9 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.6 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.8 percent. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.5 percent. China's Shanghai Composite gained 1.8 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 58 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $34.94 a barrel in New York. U.S. oil fell almost 5 percent on Wednesday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, picked up a penny to $37.42 a barrel in London. Natural gas, which has fallen to 16-year lows, rose 4 cents to $1.83 per 1,000 cubic feet.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.25 percent from 2.30 percent late Wednesday. The euro dropped to $1.0845 from $1.0970. The dollar rose to 122.66 yen from 121.85 yen.

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Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay.

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