Stocks drift lower in early trading as oil jumps; Disney, Estee Lauder rise on earnings

EnergyAssociated Press

U.S. stocks drifted lower in early trading Tuesday following two days of gains that brought the market close to a record high.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 was down seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,108 as of 10:03 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,033, the Nasdaq composite fell 34 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,980.

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MICKEY'S MAGIC: Walt Disney's stock hit an all-time high after it delivered quarterly results that beat Wall Street's estimates, thanks, in part, to rising revenue from its Walt Disney World Resort and other theme parks. Last weekend, its "Avengers: Age of Ultron" had the second-biggest domestic opening behind the first "Avengers." Disney's stock climbed 98 cents, or 1 percent, to $111.97.

CRUDE: Energy stocks did better than the rest of the market as the price of oil climbed above $60 a barrel. Oil hasn't closed above that level since December. Benchmark U.S. crude was up $1.69 to $60.61 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

EUROPE: France's CAC-40 sank 0.6 percent, while Germany's DAX fell 1 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent.

BETTER: Investors reacted with caution to the news that the European Union had nudged up its growth forecast for the 19-country eurozone this year. The EU kept unchanged its forecast for 2016 and noted that the economy in Greece is predicted to take a dive this year. Greece is struggling to agree with creditors on a new plan to get bailout loans, and the uncertainty is eroding confidence in its economy.

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China had its worst day in months, losing 4.1 percent, in turn dragging down Hong Kong's Hang Seng 1.3 percent. Markets in Japan, South Korea and Thailand were shut for holidays.

CHINA: Investor sentiment was hit by worries that the Chinese government might take more measures to cool down the massive rally in that country's stock market, which has doubled over the last year.

BONDS & CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices fell, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up to 2.19 percent from 2.15 percent the day before. The dollar strengthened to 120.37 yen from 120.11 yen, though volumes were light with trading in Tokyo closed. The euro fell to $1.1124 from $1.1147.