Stocks edge higher despite economic data
Stocks edge higher despite reports that show sluggish economy; Monsanto jumps
Associated Press
2014-06-25 11:22 PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks were moving slightly higher early Wednesday as investors set aside two disappointing economic reports. Monsanto jumped after the company posted earnings that topped estimates and disclosed a big stock buyback plan. CBS and other broadcasters rose after the Supreme Court ruled that a startup Internet company has to pay them when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,847 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,954 and the Nasdaq composite was flat at 4,359.

BROADCAST BOOST: CBS and other TV companies rose after the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo, a startup Internet company, would have to pay them when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones and other portable devices. CBS rose $3.21, or 5 percent, to $62.01 and Walt Disney, which owns ABC, rose 91 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $83.58. TV station owners also rose. Sinclair Broadcasting jumped $4.45, or 15 percent, to $33.74.

ECONOMICS: In a revised estimate, the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy shrank at annual rate of 2.9 percent in the first three months of the year. Two-thirds of the downward revision reflected a decline in health care spending. The Commerce Department also said orders for long-lasting goods sank 1 percent in May as demand for military equipment fell sharply.

FERTILE SOIL: Monsanto's earnings fell more than 5 percent but its overall results still beat analysts' estimates. The company, which sells corn and soybean seeds, also announced plans to spend up to $10 billion on buying its own stock. Monsanto rose $6.12 to $126.75.

RIPPED PAGES: Barnes & Noble jumped $2.15, or 11 percent, to $22.73 after the bookseller said it would become two publicly traded companies, one focused on retail bookselling and one on its Nook Media business, which sells electronic reading devices.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: In government bond trading, prices rose. The yield on the 10-year note, which falls when prices rise, dropped to 2.54 percent from 2.58 percent late Tuesday. Crude oil rose 6 cents to $106.09.

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