Gains for banks and tech companies push US stocks higher

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising as technology companies rise for the third day in a row and banks move higher along with bond yields and interest rates. Energy companies continue to fall as investors sort through the ongoing damage caused by Tropical Storm Harvey. The Commerce Department raised its estimate for economic growth and said the U.S. gross domestic product grew at its fastest pace in two years between April and June.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,455 as of 1 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 18 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,883. The Nasdaq composite gained 53 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,354 as technology companies rose for the third day in a row. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 6 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,390.

EARNINGS: Chipmaker Analog Devices advanced after it announced strong results in the third quarter along with a better-than-expected revenue forecast for the current period. Its stock jumped $2.74, or 3.4 percent, to $82.29. Other technology companies also rose, with Microsoft up 63 cents to $73.6.

Drone maker AeroVironment climbed $6.68, or 17 percent, to $46.03 after the company said product sales almost doubled in the fiscal first quarter. Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniel’s whiskey and other drinks, raised its profit forecast and posted strong first-quarter results. The shares rose $1.43, or 2.8 percent, to $52.63.

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H&R Block lost $2.22, or 7.6 percent, to $27.01 after it said it isn’t planning any major cost cuts in its new fiscal year, unlike the year before.

BONDS: Investors’ concerns about tensions between the U.S. and North Korea appeared to ease, and bond prices inched lower after a big jump the day before. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.14 percent from 2.13 percent. That moved interest rates higher, and banks climbed as well.

The price of gold fell $4.20, or 0.3 percent, to $1,314.70 an ounce.

STORM DAMAGE: Energy companies continued to fall as the Gulf region was inundated with rain by Harvey, which has knocked out significant oil drilling and refining capacity. On Tuesday the largest oil refinery in the U.S. was shut down and the operator of a major pipeline carrying fuel to the East Coast said it was running at a reduced rate.

The tropical storm has dumped a record amount of…

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