US Stocks Edge Higher in Early Trading

U.S. stock indexes edged higher in early trading Monday as traders returned from the Thanksgiving holiday. Banks and retailers were among the big gainers. Energy stocks lagged the most as crude oil prices headed lower. Several companies were also moving on deal news.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,604 as of 10:14 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 53 points, or 0.2 percent, to 23,611. The Nasdaq composite rose 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,893.

RETAIL RISING: Several retailers moved higher as the holiday shopping season moved into high gear. Shoppers are expected to spend $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday, up more than 16 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, the research arm of software maker Adobe. Amazon climbed $22.52, or 1.9 percent, to $1,208.52. L Brands added $1.45, or 3 percent, to $49.81. Gap picked up 72 cents, or $2.4 percent, to $30.36.

TIMELY DEAL: Better Homes & Gardens publisher Meredith Corp. said Sunday that it will buy Time for $1.8 billion, or $18.50 a share. To get the deal done, Meredith got $650 million from Koch Equity Development, along with $3.55 billion from several other lenders. Time surged $1.53, or 9 percent, to $18.43, while Meredith gained $8.13, or 13.3 percent, to $69.13.

GOING PRIVATE: Barracuda Networks jumped 16.1 percent after the cloud-based security company agreed to be taken private. The stock rose $3.82 to $27.51.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held at 2.34 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 79 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $58.16 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $63.22 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 111.14 yen from 111.58 yen. The euro rose to $1.1939 from $1.1927 after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she is committed to moving ahead with talks on trying to forge a coalition government with the center-left Social Democrats.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.4 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 was 0.1 percent lower. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.2 percent, while Seoul’s Kospi fell 1.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.6 percent. India’s Sensex lost 0.2 percent and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 edged up 0.1 percent.

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