Gains for banks and technology stocks lead US indexes higher

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The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are jumping along with bond yields Wednesday morning, and technology companies continue to recover some of their recent losses. Athletic gear giant Nike is falling as investors are concerned about its U.S. business.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,504 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 67 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,351. The Nasdaq composite advanced 45 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,425. The Russell 2000 index, which is made up of smaller-company stocks, continued to set records as it gained 8 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,465.

FED FOCUS: Investors bet that interest rates will keep rising. Tuesday afternoon, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank will be careful not to raise interest rates too slowly even though inflation has long been weaker than the Fed expects. Investors currently think the Fed will raise rates again in December, and Yellen and other policymakers say they plan to raise rates several more times in 2018.

The yield on the 2-year Treasury note rose to 1.47 percent from 1.45 percent. The yield on the 10-year note climbed to 2.30 percent from 2.24 percent. That helped banks, as higher interest rates mean they can charge more to lend money. Bank of America picked up 55 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $25.37 and Citigroup rose $1.59, or 2.2 percent, to $72.51.

CURRENCIES: The dollar also got stronger. It rose to 113.07 yen from 112.17 yen. The euro fell to $1.1724 from $1.1798.

LACES UNTIED: Shoe and athletic gear maker Nike said sales in the U.S. remained weak in its first fiscal quarter, and while its earnings and revenue were better than analysts expected, its stock lost $2.23, or 4.2 percent, to $51.47. Other sporting goods companies also slumped. Under Armour gave up 28 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $16.26. Retailer Foot Locker fell 45 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $34.67 and Dick’s Sporting Goods shed 55 cents, or 2 percent, to $27.06.

TWITTER TEST: Twitter climbed after the company said it will test a 280-character limit for tweets. That’s double the current limit, which has existed for the social media company’s entire history. The stock gained 34 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $16.93.

Other technology companies also climbed. Chipmaker Micron Technology had a better quarter than investors expected, and its stock rose $2.55, or 7.5 percent, to $36.73. Apple picked up $1.19 to $154.32 and Facebook climbed $2.37, or 1.4 percent, to $166.58.

TAX WATCH: Later Wednesday, House Republicans and Trump administration officials are due to give details of long-awaited tax proposals that are expected to include cuts to individual and corporate tax rates.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 12 cents to $52 a barrel in the New York while Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 14 cents to $57.78 a barrel in London.

OVERSEAS: The FTSE 100 index in Britain rose 0.4 percent while Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent. The CAC 40 in France added 0.4. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent and South Korea’s Kospi dipped less than 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.5 percent.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

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