Business Finance » Finance

Stocks Open Above 4-Year Closing Highs

by Matthew Craft
Tuesday Aug 21, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Major stock indexes inched above four-year closing highs in early trading Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 34 points to 13,307 shortly after 10 a.m. EDT. That's above its four-year closing high of 13,279 reached May 1.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose six points to 1,424. It closed at a four-year high of 1,419 on April 2.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 18 points to 3,094.

Facebook's stock sank 3 percent on news that one of its earliest backers, the venture capitalist Peter Thiel, has sold most of his stake in the company. The social network's stock lost 66 cents to $19.33, roughly half its initial public offering price of $38.

Best Buy fell 6 percent, the biggest loss in the S&P 500. The country's largest consumer electronics retailer reported a 90 percent drop in net income during the second quarter, dragged down by restructuring charges and weak sales.

The chain is waging a public fight with its former chairman and co-founder Richard Schulze, who wants to take the company private. Best Buy's stock dropped $1 to $17.11 and has lost 15 percent this week.

Markets in Europe edged up amid hints of progress in calming the region's debt crisis. Spain managed to raise $5.4 billion from bond investors at sharply lower interest rates than at the last such auction.

Germany's DAX added 0.5 percent and France's CAC-40 0.7 percent.

Among other stocks making moves:

- Urban Outfitters jumped 15 percent. The clothing retailer reported earnings late Monday that beat analysts' forecasts, thanks to stronger sales. The stock surged $5.15 to $36.43.

- Barnes & Noble posted a smaller quarterly loss, helped by sales and e-books and surging sales of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" book. The largest traditional bookstore chain rose 4 cents to $12.37.

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