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Markets Right Now: Banks lead US stocks higher

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Stocks are moving higher in midday trading after shaking off an early loss.

Banks are rising much more than the rest of the market Wednesday as traders hope that interest rates will move higher, which would make it more profitable for banks to make loans.

JPMorgan Chase jumped 3 per cent and Goldman Sachs climbed 2.5 per cent, the two biggest gains in the Dow Jones industrial average.

High-dividend stocks like utilities and phone companies moved lower as bond yields climbed.

The Dow rose 32 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 17,562. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 6 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,053. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 34 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4,749.

Bond prices sharply. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.82 per cent.

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9:35 a.m.

U.S. stocks are falling in morning trading. Consumer goods retailers fell the most after Target reported weak sales and gave a forecast that disappointed investors.

Target fell 8 per cent early Wednesday. Home improvement retailer Lowe’s rose 3 per cent after it reported strong first-quarter results that were aided by a housing boom.

Utility companies sliding as investors wonder if interest rates will rise in June.

Oil prices were little changed. Metals, especially copper, traded lower.

The Dow slipped 78 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 17,451. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,040. The Nasdaq composite index lost 5 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,710.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.80 per cent.