Stocks edge higher at midday, led by banks

Associated Press + More

By KEN SWEET, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Banks are tugging the stock market higher at midday after two days of big declines.

The gains offset broad declines in retailers such as Nordstrom, Macy's, and J.C. Penney, which have been pummeled this week on worries that U.S. shoppers might be pulling back on spending.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up less than one point, or 0.03 percent, to 1,662 shortly after 12 p.m. Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose eight points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,120. The Nasdaq gained 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,617.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.81 percent, its highest level since July 2011.

Banks, which benefit from higher interest rates, were among the best-performers. Bank of America rose 13 cents, or 1 percent, to $14.46.

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