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US stocks rise, led by technology and household goods shares

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks turned slightly higher in midday trading Monday, led by technology companies and makers of household products.

The market turned higher in late morning after wobbling lower earlier as investors digested some weak economic figures out of Germany.

Chipmakers led the gains in tech stocks. Micron Technology rose 1.8% and Qualcomm gained 1.6%.

Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo were among the makers of consumer goods that posted gains. Utilities also showed small gains. Investors typically shift to both those sectors and bonds when they are seeking safer places to put their money amid worries about economic growth.

Bond prices rose and pushed down yields on 10-year Treasury notes to 1.69% from 1.75% late Friday, another sign investors were seeking to avoid some risk.

Health care stocks were the biggest laggards. Medical supply company McKesson dropped 4% while CVS lost 1.4%.

Investors are preparing for the start of the next round of corporate earnings and several key companies this week could provide a clearer picture of the U.S.-China trade war’s ongoing impact. Nike, which could be a gauge of the trade war’s effect on shoemakers and retailers, will report fiscal first quarter results on Tuesday. Technology company Micron will report its fiscal fourth quarter results on Thursday.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose just under 0.1% as of noon Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20 points, or 0.1%, to 26,959. The Nasdaq was flat.

OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe fell broadly as Germany’s economy contracted to its lowest level in nearly seven years, according to IHS Markit. Germany is Europe’s largest economy and often acts as a gauge for the continent’s economic health. The latest data adds to worries that Europe is facing a slowdown in economic growth. The European Central Bank is urging governments to spend more on stimulus as economic growth stalls.

Asian stocks edged lower.

MARKET WORRIES: Stocks are coming off of their first week of losses after three straight gains and investors are keeping a close watch on the United Nations General Assembly this week.

Oil prices and the energy sector could experience more volatility as President Donald Trump seeks a coalition to confront Iran after the U.S. blamed it for last week’s strike on a Saudi Arabian oil facility.

Prospects for a trade war resolution seem to have once again cooled following comments by Trump that he doesn’t necessarily need to make a deal before the next U.S. elections in 2020. Chinese officials cancelled a planned trip to farms in Montana and Nebraska, an action that raised concerns of yet another halt in trade negotiations.

U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to meet in October to restart trade talks.

THINLY STOCKED: E-commerce company Overstock.com fell 15.2% after the company cut its financial forecast partly because tariffs have increased the costs of goods from China. It also named Jonathan Johnson as its new CEO. He has been acting CEO since August when Patrick Byrne resigned.

CRYPTO FUTURE: Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, entered the bitcoin futures game over the weekend. Bakkt Bitcoin Futures contracts are trading in ICE’s federally regulated markets and are payable in digital currency. Bakkt is the firm behind the contracts. Competitor CME Group launched its digital currency futures in 2017 and those are payable in cash.

Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press