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Stocks Open Monday Broadly Lower       04/22 09:37

   The price of crude oil surged Monday after the U.S. government moved to 
further block Iranian oil exports. That helped to lift energy stocks, but 
losses elsewhere in the market pulled U.S. indexes modestly lower in morning 
trading.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of crude oil surged Monday after the U.S. 
government moved to further block Iranian oil exports. That helped to lift 
energy stocks, but losses elsewhere in the market pulled U.S. indexes modestly 
lower in morning trading.

   The Trump administration told five countries, including the world's second 
and third largest economies, that they will no longer be exempt from U.S. 
sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran. That helped the price of 
benchmark U.S. crude touch its highest level since October, and energy stocks 
in the S&P 500 jumped 1.1%.

   Most other areas of the stock market were weaker, though, and six of the 11 
sectors that make up the S&P 500 index were lower. A measure of volatility in 
the stock market, which traders call the "fear gauge," was on pace for its 
biggest jump in a month. The VIX, which measures how worried traders are about 
upcoming swings in stock prices, rose 10%, though it remains at a quite low 
level.

   Real-estate stocks had some of the sharpest losses. Industrial stocks and 
companies that rely on discretionary spending by consumers were also weak.

   Stock trading was relatively muted around the world, with markets in London, 
Frankfurt and other major markets closed for holidays.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 dipped 0.1% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. 


   The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 65 points, or 0.2%, to 26,494, and the 
Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1%.

   BUBBLING CRUDE: Benchmark U.S. crude surged $1.49, or 2.3%, to $65.56 per 
barrel. The leap tacks further gains onto the price of oil, which has been 
climbing since dropping below $43 in late December.

   If successful, the Trump administration's move could increase demand for oil 
from U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates but would heighten 
political tensions.

   "The big fear now and perhaps the markets' next significant catalyst, will 
Iran retaliate with force?" said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management in a 
report.

   Marathon Oil rose 2.1%, and Exxon Mobil gained 1.4%. 


   UNBOXED: Kraft Heinz rose 1.4% after it named a new chief executive to take 
over for Bernardo Hees. The company in February disclosed an investigation by 
federal regulators into its accounting practices, while slashing the value of 
its Oscar Mayer and Kraft brands as U.S. families move away from familiar 
packaged foods.

   CLEANING UP: Kimberly-Clark jumped 6.3% for the biggest gain in the S&P 
after the maker of Huggies diapers and Kleenex tissue reported stronger 
earnings and revenue for its latest quarter than analysts expected.

   IT'S QUIET OUT THERE: The stock market has been notably quiet, with no move 
for the S&P 500 of more than 0.7% in either direction since the start of the 
month. That follows a torrid first quarter for U.S. markets, and the S&P 500 is 
back within a good day or two from its record after losing nearly 20% late last 
year.

   WORLD MARKETS: Markets around the world were mixed in relatively muted 
trading. The Nikkei 225 index in Japan rose 0.1%, and the Kospi in South Korea 
was virtually flat, while stocks in Shanghai lost 1.7%. Markets in Paris, Hong 
Kong and Sydney were closed for holidays.


(BAS)

 
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