U.S. Stocks Edge Higher on Gains in Energy Shares

By Riva Gold and Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Government bond yields rise

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-- Tech rally leads Asian markets higher; European shares edge down

U.S. stocks wobbled Tuesday as broad declines across sectors offset gains in the shares of health-care companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.3 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21412.36 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 fell 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.1%.

Stocks have made little headway over the past month, something some investors and analysts have attributed to a lack of catalysts for gains ahead of the busiest period of the second-quarter earnings season.

While analysts expect S&P 500 firms to post another quarter of earnings growth, many say they are taking a more cautious stance on stocks--especially as valuations are at higher-than-average levels and central banks signal they will move toward normalizing monetary policy.

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"Earnings are good right now -- the question is are they going to be good in 2018, and energy will probably have a lot to do with overall earnings growth," said Doug Foreman, chief investment officer of Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management.

Sliding oil prices have pressured shares of energy companies, the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 this year. U.S. crude oil fell 0.2% to $44.31 a barrel on Tuesday, deepening losses for the year, while the S&P 500 energy sector fell 0.1%.

Health-care companies in the S&P 500 edged up 0.1%, one of the few sectors in the broad index to post gains.

Government bonds edged lower Tuesday after Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams stuck to his view that the U.S. economy was healthy enough to raise interest rates one more time this year.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.380%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.371% on Monday. Yields rise as bond prices fall.

"There has a been a marked shift in the language from central banks," said Ryan Myerberg, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson. "We can see the powerful force keeping rates so low for so long is being unwound, but what it means for the near term is up for debate," he said, noting upcoming inflation readings, including Friday's U.S. consumer prices data, will be key for the direction of yields.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.4%, weighed down by declines in shares of U.K. companies.

Rising government bond yields pressured shares of steady income-paying companies, which tend to perform best in a low-yield environment. The real estate, health-care and food and beverage sectors dragged down the Stoxx Europe 600, while autos, miners and banks -- sectors that tend to be most geared to economic growth and higher government bond yields -- outperformed.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average gained 0.6% as a weaker yen, which benefits export-oriented stocks, provided support. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1.5%.

Akane Otani contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

-- Major indexes trade in narrow range

-- Tech stocks lead Nasdaq Composite higher

-- Government bond yields rise

U.S. stock indexes edged higher Tuesday, buoyed by gains in the shares of energy companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19 points, or 0.1%, to 21427. The S&P 500 added less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.2%.

Stocks have made little headway over the past month, something some investors and analysts have attributed to a lack of catalysts for gains ahead of the busiest period of the second-quarter earnings season.

While analysts expect S&P 500 firms to post another quarter of earnings growth, many say they are taking a more cautious stance on stocks -- especially as valuations are at higher-than-average levels and central banks signal they will move toward normalizing monetary policy.

"Earnings are good right now -- the question is are they going to be good in 2018, and energy will probably have a lot to do with overall earnings growth," said Doug Foreman, chief investment officer of Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management.

Sliding oil prices have pressured shares of energy companies, the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500 this year. U.S. crude oil rose 0.7% to $44.74 a barrel on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 energy sector added 0.5%.

Technology stocks in the S&P 500 edged up 0.2% as shares of chip-makers rallied.

Snap shares extended declines from Monday, when it fell below its initial public offering price for the first time. The Snapchat parent's stock slid 5.4% on Tuesday after Morgan Stanley -- one of the underwriters for Snap's IPO -- downgraded the company and lowered its price target.

Government bonds edged lower Tuesday after Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams stuck to his view that the U.S. economy was healthy enough to raise interest rates one more time this year.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.384%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.371% on Monday. Yields rise as bond prices fall.

"There has a been a marked shift in the language from central banks," said Ryan Myerberg, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson. "We can see the powerful force keeping rates so low for so long is being unwound, but what it means for the near term is up for debate," he said, noting upcoming inflation readings, including Friday's U.S. consumer prices data, will be key for the direction of yields.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.4%, weighed down by declines in shares of U.K. companies.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average gained 0.6% as a weaker yen, which benefits export-oriented stocks, provided support. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1.5%.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 11, 2017 11:36 ET (15:36 GMT)