U.S. stocks were slightly higher in early trading Tuesday following five straight losses. The market was helped by positive results out of UPS, Ford and other big companies and some stabilization in foreign markets, particularly China.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 34 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,475 as of 10 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,073 and the Nasdaq composite lost five points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,035.
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HOME DELIVERY: UPS rose $3.28, or 3.5 percent, to $98.45. The company saw profits jump from a year ago, helped by stronger business overseas. UPS earned $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per share, for the three months ended June 30. A year earlier it earned $454 million, or 49 cents per share. UPS is sometimes seen a proxy for the global economy because of its huge role in delivering goods all over the world on a daily basis.
DUPONT STRUGGLES: Chemical giant DuPont fell $1, or 1.8 percent, to $55.72. The company lowered its full-year outlook, citing weaker sales in its farm products business. DuPont also cut its dividend, a rare move for any company.
CHINA FALL: The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.7 percent on Tuesday, after trading down as much as 4 percent earlier in the day. The index had plunged 8.5 percent on Monday, its biggest drop since February 2007, despite concerted efforts by the Chinese government to stem the market's slide.
U.S. ECONOMY: Traders were turning their attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve as they try to assess when interest rates will be raised. Fed policymakers meet this week, but few central bank watchers expect a rate hike. Many expect the Fed to begin its next cycle of rate increases in September or December. Ultra-low interest rates have been a boon for stock markets, and many questions remain about how markets will react to the first increase since the 2008 financial crisis.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude declined 15 cents to $47.24 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.26 percent from 2.22 percent. The dollar rose to 123.60 Japanese yen from 123.27 yen on Monday. The euro fell to $1.1052 from $1.1087.