U.S. stock indexes were mixed in early afternoon trading on Monday after a morning burst of buying faded away.
The S&P 500 jumped at the open of trading following a series of buyout deals and strong earnings reports. But the index sagged as noon approached, weighed down by losses for telecom stocks and other areas of the market.
The Dow Jones industrial average was still holding onto its gains, driven by a big jump for McDonald’s following its surprisingly strong profit report.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was down 5 points, or 0.2 percent, at 2,665, as of 12:27 p.m. Eastern time. It had been up as much as 0.5 percent earlier in the morning.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 57, or 0.2 percent, to 24,368, and the Nasdaq composite sank 32, or 0.5 percent, to 7,087.
PUT ON HOLD: Telecom stocks in the S&P 500 fell 1.2 percent for the largest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the index.
Sprint and T-Mobile US were at the center of investors’ attention, though neither is in the S&P 500. The pair announced a $26.5 billion deal to merge following years of consideration for a combination. But investors are unsure whether this attempt will get the necessary approvals from U.S. regulators.
Sprint dropped 14.8 percent to $5.54, and T-Mobile lost 7.1 percent to $59.96.
GOBBLED UP: McDonald’s jumped 5.1 percent to $166.40 after it reported healthier profit and revenue than analysts expected for the first three months of the year. Sales at its restaurants open more than a year were much stronger than Wall Street had forecast.
EARNING THEIR KEEP: McDonald’s joined the wave of companies to report not only big earnings growth for the first quarter, but bigger than analysts expected. Just over half the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their earnings for the first three months of the year, and they’re on pace to deliver overall growth of 23 percent, according to FactSet. That would be the strongest showing since the summer of 2010.
“It’s been phenomenal,” said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors. “Corporate earnings are doing better. Economic growth is doing better, and I think the market is begrudgingly allowing those numbers to work their way into share prices.”
The S&P 500 has been whipping higher and lower in recent months, hurt by worries about higher interest rates and the possibility of a trade war. But the index is up 3.2 percent since setting a low in early April and is on pace to close out its first winning month in the last three.
REFINED GAINS: Andeavor jumped to the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after Marathon Petroleum said it will buy the refiner and pipeline owner for more than $23 billion. Andeavor, which used to be called Tesoro, soared 14.1 percent to $139.69.
DISTRIBUTED GAINS: DCT Industrial Trust, a logistics real-estate company, gained 11.3 percent to $65.38 after Prologis, an owner of distribution centers and other logistics real estate, agreed on Sunday to buy it in an all-stock deal.
DCT shareholders will receive 1.02 Prologis shares for each share they own. With nearly 94 million shares outstanding, that values DCT at $6.38 billion, according to Friday’s closing prices.
OFF THE SHELF: U.K. grocer Sainsubry’s agreed to buy Walmart’s U.K. unit, Asda, for 7.3 billion pounds ($10.1 billion) in cash and stock. The deal would create Britain’s largest supermarket chain. Walmart rose 1.7 percent to $88.77.
BUSY WEEK AHEAD: Besides being the heart of earnings reporting season for companies, this week will also feature a policy meeting for the Federal Reserve on interest rates. The Fed will announce its decision on Wednesday.
On Friday, the government releases its jobs report, which is usually the most anticipated economic report of each month.
COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 22 cents to $68.32 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 67 cents to $74.46. Gold lost $7.30 to $1,316.10 per ounce.
YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.94 percent from 2.96 percent late Friday. The two-year yield held steady at 2.48 percent, and the 30-year yield dipped to 3.10 percent from 3.13 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.22 Japanese yen from 109.02 yen late Friday. The euro fell to $1.2078 from $1.2121, and the British pound dipped to $1.3744 from $1.3785
MARKETS ABROAD: In Europe, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.6 percent, and Germany’s DAX gained 0.2 percent. The FTSE 100 in London was up 0.2 percent. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.7 percent, and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.9 percent. Markets in Japan were closed for holidays.