US stocks waver between gains and losses; Chipotle Mexican Grill sinks on pork shortage

Energy Associated Press

U.S. stocks were wavering between small gains and losses in early trading Tuesday as investors looked over the latest company earnings reports. Chipotle Mexican Grill fell after the company said a shortage of pork meat was affecting its results, while KFC and Taco Bell owner Yum Brands rose after reporting higher global sales. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed above 20,000 for the first time in 15 years.

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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average was down 24 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,925 as of 10:02 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell a point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,095. The Nasdaq composite lost five points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,008. All three indexes opened slightly higher.

WHERE'S THE PORK: Chipotle said a shortage of pork and bad weather slowed its rapid sales growth at the start of the year. As a result, total revenue for the first quarter fell short of Wall Street's targets. Chipotle's stock sank $44.77, or 6 percent, to $648.

FINGER LICKIN' GOOD: Yum Brands' first-quarter profit fell but still topped Wall Street's forecasts as global sales jumped at its Taco Bell and KFC brands. Sales declined sharply in China, where Yum has been struggling since a food-supply scare last summer. But the drop wasn't as steep as at the end of last year. The stock gained $2.77, or 4 percent, to $83.73.

EUROPE: Earnings results were mixed in Europe. British retailer Tesco had a loss of 5.7 billion pounds ($8.5 billion), though Heineken and Volvo reported gains. France's CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent and Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.5 percent.

JAPAN: Earlier, Japan posted its first monthly trade surplus in nearly three years in March, thanks to falling import costs from cheaper oil prices, along with a modest recovery in exports. It is unclear how long surpluses will continue as Japan's oil and gas import bill could rise again due to the weak yen. A U.S. recovery has helped boost Japan's exports, and the government has been aggressively encouraging tourism.

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ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.1 percent to finish at 20,133, the first time since April 14, 2000 that the index closed above 20,000 points. South Korea's Kospi was little changed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.3 percent and China's Shanghai Composite jumped 2.4 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery edged up three cents to $56.62 a barrel in New York. Brent crude rose 50 cents to $62.59 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES, BONDS: The euro rose to $1.0769 from $1.0736 late Tuesday. The dollar fell to 119.48 yen from 119.70 yen. U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.92 percent from 1.91 percent late Tuesday.

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AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama contributed to this story from Tokyo.