US stocks open higher, building on gains from a day earlier


NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising Wednesday morning, building on a rally from the day before. Technology stocks are leading the way higher, while energy stocks rebound with the price of oil. Cruise line companies are rising after Carnival posted strong first-quarter results.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 116 points, or 0.7 percent, to 17,749 as of 10:32 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 13 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,067. The Nasdaq composite index added 44 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,890. Big names in the technology sector rose more than the rest of the market. Apple rose $2.54, or 2.4 percent, to $110.23. Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, is at its highest price since mid-December.

SMOOTH SAILING: Cruise line operator Carnival got a boost after its first-quarter results were better than analysts expected, and the company raised its profit projections for the year. The stock gained $2.01, or 4 percent, to $51.65 and competitor Royal Caribbean Cruises added $3.38, or 4.4 percent, to $79.43.

WORKING ON THE RAILROAD: Norfolk Southern jumped $3.19, or 3.9 percent, to $85.99 after it said it is open to a possible sale to Canadian Pacific, but only if Canadian Pacific offers a better price and regulators approve the structure of the deal. Norfolk Southern has rejected three offers from Canadian Pacific worth about $30 billion.

HIRING: U.S. companies added 200,000 jobs in March, according to a survey of private employers by ADP, a payroll processing company. The survey showed companies in construction, retail and shipping continued to bring on new workers, and it suggests hiring continues in the U.S. The federal government will release its monthly jobs report Friday.

ACADIA ADVANCES: Acadia Pharmaceuticals rose after a Food and Drug Administration panel made a positive recommendation for Acadia’s drug Nuplazid, which is intended to treat psychotic delusions and behaviors that harm patients with Parkinson’s disease. The stock climbed $2.85, or 12 percent, to $26.66.

SUPER SONIC: Drive-in restaurant chain Sonic is rising after it posted strong results in its fiscal second quarter. The stock rose $1.55, or 4.8 percent, to $34.11.

STRETCHING HIGHER: Canadian yoga-wear company Lululemon gained $5.81, or 9.5 percent, to $67.05 after it disclosed strong fourth-quarter sales.

SIGNAL BLOCKED: Verint Systems, a company that makes software used to analyze intercepted communications, fell $4.04, or 11.5 percent, to $31.15. The company’s profit and sales fell far short of Wall Street estimates.

BILLS PILE UP: Payroll process Paychex lost $1.63, or 3 percent, to $52.86 as investors were unimpressed with its fiscal third-quarter results. The stock has climbed over the last two months and is near all-time highs.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $1.29, or 3.4 percent, to $39.57 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.24, or 3.1 percent, to $41.09 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline prices rose 1.5 percent to $1.47 a gallon and heating oil climbed 3.5 percent to $1.20 a gallon.

FED TALK: Stocks rose to their highest prices of 2016 Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank expects to proceed slowly in raising interest rates. That’s because the stock market has been volatile and the economy has weakened somewhat over the last few months. Slower worldwide economic growth and weaker oil prices and profits could also hinder the U.S. economy.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices slipped, returning some of Tuesday’s gains. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.84 percent from 1.80 percent. The dollar continued to weaken. The euro rose to $1.1319 from $1.1295 and the dollar fell to 112.63 yen from 112.75 yen.

OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 advanced 1.6 percent and Germany’s DAX climbed 1.8 percent. France’s CAC 40 gained 1.9 percent. Asian stocks were mixed after the Asian Development Bank said economies in the region will grow at a slower pace in 2016 and 2017 because of reduced growth in China and a weak recovery in other major industrial economies. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.3 percent as the yen continued to strengthen. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 2.1 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.4 percent.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay