Trading is light so far Thursday as Wall Street prepares for the Easter weekend.
U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading Thursday as investors sized up earnings from several major banks and new data on inflation. Financial stocks led the gainers, followed by technology companies. Utilities were down the most. Trading was light ahead of the long Easter holiday weekend.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,346 as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average was flat at 20,587. The Nasdaq composite index gained 13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,850. U.S. markets will be closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday.
BANK ON IT: Several banks were trading higher after reporting better-than-expected results thanks to improved revenue from trading and rising interest rates. Citigroup rose 73 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $59.24, while JPMorgan Chase gained $1.24, or 1.5 percent, to $86.64. PNC Financial Services climbed $4.38, or 3.8 percent, to $120.38.
BUFFETT EFFECT: Wells Fargo slid 1.4 percent after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway sold some of its stock in the lender to avoid being designated a bank holding company. Wells also reported flat quarterly earnings, reflecting continuing struggles to recover from its sales practice scandal. The stock gave up 77 cents to $52.35.
BAD QUARTER: Pier 1 Imports slumped 8.6 percent after the home decor retailer reported disappointing sales. The stock slid 62 cents to $6.63.
INFLATION: The Labor Department said that its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, fell 0.1 percent in March. That's the first drop since August and reflects falling energy prices. Producer prices were up 2.3 percent in March from a year earlier, the sharpest annual increase in five years.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX slid 0.3 percent, while France's CAC-40 shed 0.4 percent. London's FTSE-100 lost 0.3 percent. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.7 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.2 percent after a report showed China's export growth accelerated in March, while import growth cooled. Seoul's Kospi added 0.9 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar continued to weaken a day after President Donald Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the dollar was "getting too strong" and that he won't declare China a currency manipulator. The remarks helped push the yen to its highest level since mid-November, just after the presidential election. The dollar slid to 109.37 yen from 109.71 yen late Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.0616 from $1.0598.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 7 cents to $53.17 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 1 cent to $55.87 per barrel in London. The market took in its stride a report by the International Energy Agency saying that demand growth for oil will slow for a second consecutive year this year.
TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year note rose to 2.26 percent from 2.24 percent late Wednesday.