Glenn Carell, second from right, works with other stock traders at the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
U.S. stock indexes wavered between small gains and losses in early trading Thursday. Utilities were down the most, while banks led the gainers. Investors had their eye on Washington, where former FBI Director James Comey was testifying as part of a congressional investigation into Russia’s possible election meddling.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,431 as of 10:11 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,191. The Nasdaq composite index fell 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,291. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks added 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,399.
COMEY SPEAKS: Comey was testifying before Congress as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election. The testimony, Comey’s first public statements since his May 9 dismissal, was likely to bring hours of uncomfortable attention to an administration shadowed for months by an investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
GOING PRIVATE: Nordstrom surged 13.7 percent on news that the Nordstrom family are considering taking the troubled department store chain private. Like Macy’s and other big department store chains, Nordstrom has struggled to cope with competition from online retailers. The company, which has 354 stores in the U.S. and Canada, has seen its stock tumble by half since early 2015. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 on Thursday, gaining $5.54 to $46.02 Thursday. Macy’s picked up $4.14, or 8.2 percent, to $54.69.
SALES SLUMP: Urban Outfitters slid 8.6 percent after the retailer said sales at older stores are running lower than expected this month. That followed weak sales in May. The stock shed $1.57 to $16.66.
ENERGY: Oil futures rebounded after an early slide. Benchmark U.S. crude was up 14 cents to $45.88 a barrel in New York. The contract tumbled 5.1 percent on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 12 cents to $48.18 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.33 yen from Wednesday’s 109.83 yen. The euro weakened to $1.1213 from $1.1252.
TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield held rose to 2.21 percent from 2.18 percent late Wednesday.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: European stock markets were mainly higher after the European Central Bank kept its stimulus program unchanged. ECB President Mario Draghi said Thursday that risks to the European economic recovery have diminished. Germany’s DAX rose 0.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.1 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent as Britain went to the polls in a general election.
In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.3 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent.