US stocks edge higher as energy sector rebounds; Allstate slumps on weak earnings report

Energy Associated Press

FILE - This Jan. 4, 2010, file photo, shows an historic marker on Wall Street in New York. Global stocks were uneven Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, as weak Chinese manufacturing weighed on sentiment and investors looked ahead to a U.S. jobs report later this ... week that could cement expectations for a Fed interest rate hike. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (The Associated Press)

U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading Tuesday as energy stocks rebounded from a big sell-off. Those gains were offset by some disappointing earnings reports. Allstate fell sharply after the insurance company reported earnings that missed analysts' expectations.

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KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,100 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,611. The Nasdaq composite climbed five points, or 0.01 percent, to 5,118.

ALLSTATE SLUMP: Allstate dropped $7.11, or 10 percent, to $62.27 after reporting earnings that fell significantly short of analysts' expectations. The company said its earnings dropped because of more frequent and more severe auto accidents.

U.S. EMPLOYMENT: Investors are looking ahead to monthly U.S. jobs figures due Friday, with robust job creation likely to cement expectations for a U.S. interest rate hike in September or December. A FactSet survey of analysts forecasts U.S. employers added 225,000 jobs in July, slightly better than June's strong figure of 223,000. Ultra-low interest rates have driven gains in stock prices for several years and a rate hike is likely to ruffle markets.

EUROPE'S DAY: France's CAC 40 dropped 0.3 percent, while Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE 100 were little changed. Greece's stock market fell for a second day since reopening after a five-week shutdown, though its losses were modest at 2 percent. The market plunged 16 percent on Monday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 99 cents to $46.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. U.S. crude prices have fallen sharply over the past month on signs of a supply glut as global demand wanes.

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BONDS AND CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.18 percent from 2.15 percent. The dollar edged up to 124.08 yen and the euro rose to $1.0974.