NEW YORK – U.S. stocks are rising in midday trading Monday as China's currency steadied and Greece's bailout cleared another big hurdle. An index of manufacturing activity in New York state fell.
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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,513 as of 12:21 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nearly five points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,096. The Nasdaq composite rose 17 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,065.
BROAD CLIMB: Seven of the 10 industry groups of the S&P 500 index are higher, led by a 0.7 percent rise in utility stocks.
FACTORY CHECK: Manufacturing activity in New York state contracted in August at the fastest pace since the Great Recession, pulled down by sharp declines in new orders and shipments, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
NOT PRETTY: Estee Lauder reported better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter, but fell short of revenue forecasts due partly to disappointing results in its Clinique and namesake skin-care lines. The company's outlook in future quarters also disappointed Wall Street analysts. The stock fell $4.50, or nearly 5 percent, $84.32.
EUROPE'S DAY: Britain's FTSE 100 was flat while Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent. France's CAC-40 rose 0.6 percent.
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GREEK CRISIS: Greece cleared a big hurdle late Friday when eurozone finance ministers approved the country's 86 billion-euro ($93 billion) bailout program. A few parliaments have to approve the deal before Greece can get its hands on the 26 billion euros ($29 billion) tranche of money that will allow it to make a big repayment due to the European Central Bank on Thursday.
ANALYST TAKE: "Given the market-moving power of Greece in the first half of 2015, investors clearly aren't as fussed about the issue as they once were, with fears over China's next move outweighing the positive progress found on the continent," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.
YUAN STEADIES: Chinese authorities raised slightly the daily level for the country's currency, which is allowed to climb or fall by 2 percent against the dollar each day in spot markets. Monday's rate fix further calmed Asian markets after Beijing last week devalued the yuan. That move resulted in the currency weakening as much as 3 percent.
JAPAN ECONOMY: The Nikkei rose after government data showed Asia's second-biggest economy contracted 1.6 percent in the April-June quarter because of bad weather and slowing China demand, raising hopes of fresh stimulus. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has championed a huge monetary easing program aimed at kick-starting economic growth. Analysts say the poor results so far suggest that the central bank may pump in even more money in the months to come.
BLAST FALLOUT: Shares of Tianjin Port Development Holdings tumbled 13 percent as worries deepened over last week's huge explosions at the busy Chinese port city. The blasts, which originated at a warehouse storing more hazardous material than permitted, left at least 114 people dead and 70 missing.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.5 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.7 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China rose 0.7 percent.
ENERGY: U.S. crude oil fell 3 cents to $42.47 in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, slipped 8 cents to $49.11 in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro was flat at $1.1074. In Japan, the dollar was steady at 124.35 yen.
BONDS: Prices of U.S. government bonds rose, pushing down the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to 2.16 percent from 2.19 percent on Friday.