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US Stocks Open Higher                  02/26 09:27

   Stocks rose solidly in early trading Wednesday as investors regained an 
appetite for risk after two days of heavy losses.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks rose solidly in early trading Wednesday as investors 
regained an appetite for risk after two days of heavy losses.

   The sharp drops, which wiped out the market's gains for the year, were 
brought on by worries over economic fallout from the virus outbreak that 
originated in China.

   The virus continues to spread and threatens to hurt industrial production, 
consumer spending, and travel. More cases are being reported in Europe and the 
Middle East. Health officials in the U.S. have been warning Americans to 
prepare for the virus.

   Investors are setting aside some of their concerns for the time being and 
bid up technology stocks. Microsoft rose 1.5% and Adobe rose 1.8%. The tech 
sector was among the worst hit by sell-offs this week as many of the companies 
rely on global sales and supply chains that could be stifled by the spreading 
coronavirus.

   Health care companies also climbed. UnitedHealth Group rose 1.9%. 

   Bond prices fell and pushed yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury 
rose to 1.36% from 1.33% late Tuesday.

   TJX, the parent of retailer TJ Maxx, surged 7.7% after beating Wall Street's 
fourth-quarter profit forecasts and raising its dividend.

   Utilities and real estate companies lagged the market in another sign that 
investors were shifting away from safe-play stocks.

   VIRUS UPDATE: The virus outbreak has now infected more than 81,000 people 
globally and continues spreading. Brazil has confirmed the first case in Latin 
America. Germany, France and Spain were among the European nations with growing 
caseloads. New cases are also being reported in several Middle Eastern nations.

   President Donald Trump will hold a news conference later Wednesday, along 
with representatives from the Centers for Disease Control, to discuss the virus.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 1.2% as of 10:20 a.m. Following its 
two-day drop, it's still down 6.4% from the record high it reached last 
Wednesday.

   The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 335 points, or 1.2%, to 27,423. The 
Nasdaq rose 1.5%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 0.6%.

   European markets were mixed and Asian markets fell. 

   MOUSE EXIT: Disney fell 0.5% following Bob Iger's surprise announcement that 
he will immediately step down as CEO of the entertainment company. Iger steered 
the company's absorption of big moneymakers, including Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel 
and Fox's entertainment businesses. He also oversaw the launch of the Disney 
Plus streaming video service.

   BUSTED BUILDERS: Toll Brothers fell 10.1% and weighed down other 
homebuilders after reporting disappointing fiscal first-quarter profit. D.R. 
Horton fell 2.7% and PulteGroup shed 2.9%. 


(CZ)

 
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