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November 17, 2017
El Dorado News Times
Traders observe a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before the start of trading at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Traders observe a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before the start of trading at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks inch up on chipmaker deal talks; oil hits 2-year high

By The Associated Press
This article was published November 6, 2017 at 12:12 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are edging higher Monday as chipmakers jump on Broadcom's $103 billion offer to buy competitor Qualcomm. However phone companies are sinking after wireless carriers Sprint and T-Mobile said they've called off talks on a possible deal. Crude oil jumped to its highest price since mid-2015 after a power shakeup in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,589 as of noon Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 7 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 23,545. The Nasdaq composite gained 8 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,772. All three indexes closed at record highs Friday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,496.

CHIP, CHIP HOORAY: Broadcom made an unsolicited offer for Qualcomm worth $103 billion, or $70 a share, in a deal that could be the largest in the history of the technology industry if it's completed. Qualcomm stock has been battered this year as the company is stuck in a legal battle with its biggest customer, Apple. The iPhone maker has refused to pay any royalties to Qualcomm for some of the smartphone's features. Analysts said Apple might be able to stop the deal if it wants to, but regulators will also have to sign off.

Qualcomm added 73 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $62.60 and Broadcom lost $3.33, or 1.2 percent, to $270.30. Qualcomm has jumped 14 percent since Thursday.

Marvell Technologies and Cavium both jumped after the Wall Street Journal said Marvell is in talks to buy the chip maker. Cavium advanced $6.44, or 9.5 percent, to $74.71 and Marvell rose $1.67, or 9 percent, to $20.18.

Elsewhere, Skyworks Solutions gained $2.25, or 2 percent, to $115.41 and Qorvo rose $227, or 3.1 percent, to $76.11. Advanced Micro Devices climbed 62 cents, or 55 percent, to $11.74 after the company announced a deal with Intel.

DROPPED CALL: Wireless carriers Sprint and T-Mobile dashed investors' hopes they would combine. On Saturday the companies said they'd called off merger negotiations for the foreseeable future because they couldn't strike an agreement beneficial to customers and shareholders. The two companies have been dancing around a possible merger for years and in recent weeks investors felt they might finally combine.

Sprint fell 82 cents, or 12.38 percent, to $5.85 and T-Mobile USA sank $3.50, or 5.9 percent, to $55.41.

Verizon dropped $2.18, or 4.6 percent, to $45.25 and AT&T slid 63 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $32.67. That came after new reports that Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, which owns Sprint, is interested in buying cable provider Charter Communications. CNBC reported on those talks Monday while the New York Post said last week that the companies had recent talks about a deal. Connecting Sprint and Charter, the country's second-largest cable company, could mean cost savings, deeper pockets and a combined wireless-home internet company that could act as a stronger competitor to AT&T and Verizon.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose $1.42, or 2.6 percent, to $57.06 a barrel in New York. That's its highest price since July 2015. Brent crude, the international standard, climbed $1.82, or 2.9 percent, to $63.90 per barrel in London. Energy companies moved higher as well.

Turmoil in Saudi Arabia had investors wondering if oil supplies will be constricted, which would drive crude prices higher. Over the weekend 11 princes and 38 senior officials and businessmen were arrested as part of a purported anti-corruption probe led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Those arrested include Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire chairman of the Kingdom Holding Co. Separately, a high-ranking prince and several other government officials were killed when a helicopter crashed in the south of the kingdom.

EARNINGS: Luxury retailer Michael Kors jumped after its second-quarter profit and sales came in ahead of expectations. It also raised its forecasts for the rest of the year. Its stock gained $6.77, or 14.2 percent, to $53.39. Dental supplies distributor Henry Schein posted a smaller profit than analysts forecast and it cut its earnings target for the year. Schein stock lost $7.34, or 9.5 percent, to $70.30.

ANTHEM'S NEW TUNE: Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer Anthem rose after it named a top executive from competitor UnitedHealth as its next CEO. The company said Gail Boudreaux will replace current CEO Joseph Swedish on Nov. 20. He has been Anthem's CEO for four years. Anthem added $5.13, or 2.4 percent, to $216.93.

BONDS: Bond prices were stable. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.33 percent and the yield on the 2-year note stayed at 1.62 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 113.92 yen from 114.16 yen. The euro fell to $1.16 from $1.1608.

OVERSEAS: In Britain, the FTSE 100 made a tiny gain while France's CAC 40 shed 0.2 percent. The German DAX also dipped 0.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 made a tiny gain and South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost less than 0.1 percent.

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