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Stocks home in on records as energy companies rise

NEW YORK (AP) β€” U.S. stocks are rising, putting major indexes on track to close at record highs, as energy companies climb with the price of oil. Investors are hoping that OPEC countries will soon be able to finalize a deal that would cut oil production and help support prices. Meat producer Tyson...

NEW YORK (AP) β€” U.S. stocks are rising, putting major indexes on track to close at record highs, as energy companies climb with the price of oil. Investors are hoping that OPEC countries will soon be able to finalize a deal that would cut oil production and help support prices. Meat producer Tyson Foods is tumbling after it reported weak fourth-quarter results.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 74 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,942 as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,196. The Nasdaq composite gained 41 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,362. The Dow has been setting records since the presidential election earlier this month, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq reached all-time highs this summer. Small-company stocks, which are at record highs already, also continued to climb.

ENERGY: Benchmark New York crude gained $1.96, or 4.3 percent, to $47.65 a barrel while Brent crude, the international standard, rose $2.09, or 4.5 percent, to $48.95 a barrel in London. That led to gains for energy companies. Marathon Oil added 81 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $16.43 and Exxon Mobil added $1.10, or 1.3 percent, to $86.38. Chevron gained $1.44, or 1.3 percent, to $110.64.

OPEC nations will meet in Vienna on Nov. 30. They have agreed to preliminary terms of a deal that will reduce the production of oil slightly, but the details remain to be determined.

THE QUOTE: Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, said investors are encouraged that OPEC is trying to limit production. But she doesn't think a deal, if one happens, will have much effect on oil prices.

"There's nothing to suggest the agreement's going to hold," she said. "When all is said and done, supply and demand will ultimately dictate the price."

NOT SO APPETIZING: Meat producer Tyson Foods tumbled $9.39, or 13.9 percent, to $57.95. The company's fourth-quarter profit and sales fell far short of Wall Street's forecasts as Tyson's chicken business struggled. The company also said CEO Donnie Smith will step down at the end of this year, and company president Tom Hayes will replace him.

Competitor Hormel Foods lost 79 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $34.79.

LOCKED UP: Identity theft and fraud protection company LifeLock jumped $3.16, or 15.2 percent, to $23.91 after security software maker Symantec agreed to buy the company for $2.3 billion. The deal values LifeLock at $24 a share. Symantec picked up $1.05, or 4.4 percent, to $24.80, a sign investors approve of the purchase.

WATERS RISING: Building products company Headwaters agreed to be bought by Boral Ltd. of Australia in a deal the companies valued at $2.6 billion, or $24.25 per share. Its stock climbed $3.41, or 16.9 percent, to $23.50.

OIL DEAL: Sunoco Logistics agreed to buy Energy Transfer Partners in an all-stock deal. The two companies are involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline project. A portion of that pipeline would pump oil under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, and the local Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others are protesting the pipeline, saying they fear a leak could contaminate the drinking water on its reservation. They also say it could disturb sacred sites.

Both companies traded lower, however. Energy Transfer Partners lost $3.36, or 8.5 percent, to $36.01 and Sunoco Logistics skidded $2.14, or 8.2 percent, to $24.06. Energy Transfer Equity, the general partner of Energy Transfer Partners, picked up 61 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $17.90.

ORACLE SEES A DEAL: Business software maker Oracle said it will buy Dyn, a company that helps route internet traffic to its destination. A month ago Dyn was at the center of a huge cyberattack that temporarily stopped some American and European internet users from accessing popular websites like Netflix, Twitter and PayPal. The company said its server infrastructure was hit by distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks. Oracle's stock slipped 6 cents to $39.80.

LOGGING ON: Technology stocks also made substantial gains. They have lagged the market since the election after very strong performance over the summer. Facebook rose $4.23, or 3.6 percent, to $121.25 while online payments company PayPal advanced 53 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $40.61 and Alphabet, the corporate parent of Google, picked up $10.39, or 1.3 percent, to $786.36.

MATERIAL MOVEMENT: Companies that make basic materials did better than most other industries. Copper and gold producer Freeport-McMoran climbed 67 cents, or 4.9 percent, to $14.41 as the price of copper rose. Fertilizer makers CF Industries and Mosaic both traded higher. CF Industries added 84 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $29.80 and Mosaic rose 65 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $28.91.

CURRENCIES: The dollar continued to trade around 13-year highs. The euro fell to $1.0593 from $1.0599. The dollar slipped to 111.30 yen from 110.63 yen.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.33 percent from 2.35 percent. Utilities traded higher. Those stocks tend to do better when bond yields fall because investors seeking income buy them for their high dividends.

OVERSEAS: France's CAC-40 index rose 0.6 percent while the DAX of Germany picked up 0.2 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain rose less than 0.1 percent. The Nikkei 225 of Japan rose 0.8 percent. South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.4 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong edged up less than 0.1 percent.

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AP Markets Writer 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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