US stocks slip on falling oil prices, report on inflation; China stocks hit 7-year high

Markets Associated Press

U.S. stocks slipped in early trading Friday as energy companies fell along with the price of oil. Investors were weighing the latest batch of corporate earnings results and a government report that suggested a slight increase in inflation. Investors are looking ahead to a speech later in the day by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,271 as of 10:09 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gave up a point to 2,129. The Nasdaq composite edged up five points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,097.

OIL DROP: The price of oil fell 77 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $59.94 a barrel, helping push down drillers and other energy-related companies. Occidental Petroleum and Noble Corporation each fell 2 percent.

RISING PRICES: U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in April for the third straight month, suggesting that an improving economy could be setting the stage for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year.

Consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent from the previous month. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, climbed 0.3 percent, the biggest gain in 15 months.

LEAPING DEERE: Deere rose $3.22, or 3 percent, to $92.60 after the equipment maker raised its profit forecast for the year. Strong sales in construction equipment offset a global agricultural slowdown.

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SOUP SURGE: Campbell Soup rose $1.06, or 2 percent, to $47.99 after reporting earning that its earnings came in ahead of what analysts were looking for.

CHINA SURGE: The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.8 percent to close at 4,657.60, the highest level since 2008. Investors are betting that the economic stimulus that has powered the rally will continue after recent poor indicators, such as a disappointing manufacturing index on Thursday.

EUROPE, ASIA: France's CAC 40 was flat and Germany's DAX slipped 0.3 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.3 percent and South Korea's Kospi rose 1.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.7 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: The rise in consumer prices sent U.S. bond prices lower. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.22 percent from 2.19 percent late Thursday. In currency trading, the dollar rose to 121.45 yen from 121.05 yen. The euro fell to $1.1024 from $1.1110.

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Chan reported from Hong Kong.