US stocks higher as inflation remains tame

JOSHUA FREED, AP Business Writer

Stocks rose on Friday after a government report showed that inflation was tame in September, which will leave consumers with more money to spend if the trend holds up.

The modest gains came in spite of declines in most markets around the world. Stocks were still headed for their biggest weekly loss since early June.

In morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 34 points at 13,360. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up one point to 1,434 and the Nasdaq composite was up five points at 3,055.

The Labor Department said Friday that wholesale prices rose 1.1 percent in September. But most of the gain was from higher gasoline prices. Core prices, which don't count food and energy, were unchanged.

The S&P is headed for a weekly loss of nearly 1.9 percent following three down days this week. This week saw mixed results from U.S. corporations like Alcoa, Safeway and Yum Brands.

Strong earnings from banks weren't enough to help financial stocks on Friday. The nation's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, posted record quarterly profit and blew away Wall Street expectations. Wells Fargo just edged out profit expectations but its revenue fell short of Wall Street's forecasts.

Wells Fargo was down $1.13, or 3.2 percent, to $34.05, and JPMorgan fell 18 cents to $41.02. Bank of America fell 8 cents to $9.26. US Bancorp lost 56 cents to $33.83.

Financial and energy stocks were the two industry groups out of the 10 in the S&P 500 that declined. Health care stocks were the strongest, up a half-percent.

Trucking and logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. rose $4.22, or 7.7 percent, to $59.01 after its third-quarter profit rose almost 14 percent on strong growth in handling containers that move by ship, rail, or truck.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. dropped 31 cents, or 9.5 percent, to $2.90, after the chipmaker said third-quarter revenue will fall about 10 percent from the second quarter because of weak demand for its products.

European markets were mixed. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares and the German DAX were nearly flat, and the CAC-40 in France rose slightly.

Trading was steady in other markets too. The euro edged up 0.3 percent to $1.2970 and the benchmark oil price was 30 cents higher at $92.37 per barrel in New York trading.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 1.66 percent from 1.67 percent late Thursday.

Asian markets closed mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index ended a bad week with another 0.2 percent decline. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.7 percent and South Korea's Kospi was flat.