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US Stocks Are Higher as Berkshire Climbs; Apple Sinks Again

U.S. stocks are mostly higher early Monday as Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway leads gains in financial companies, while energy companies rise along with the prices of oil and natural gas.

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly higher early Monday as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A leads gains in financial companies, while energy companies rise along with the prices of oil and natural gas.

Technology companies continue to struggle as Apple AAPL drops again. Asian indexes fell following weak economic data in China and a lack of progress in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.

Last week was the market’s best week since March. That came after a steep drop in October.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,725 as of . The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 91 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,362. The Nasdaq composite fell 57 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,299. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged down 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,546.

BANK ON BUFFETT: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate said its profit quadrupled in the third quarter as the value of its investments climbed. It also reported better results from its insurance and railroad divisions. Berkshire also bought back almost $1 billion in stock, the most in years. Its stock climbed 4.7 percent to $216.29.

Other financial companies also rose. Citigroup gained 1 percent to $66.60 and MetLife rose 1.9 percent to $43.99.

TRIAL DATA: Eli Lilly picked up 3.1 percent to $110.09 after the company said patients who took its type 2 diabetes drug Trulicity were less likely to have a heart attack or other major heart problems during a clinical trial. The study compared Trulicity, an injection given once a week, to standard treatments.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 0.5 percent to $63.56 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, jumped 0.9 percent to $73.50 per barrel in London.

Natural gas soared 7.3 percent to $3.53 per 1,000 cubic feet following forecasts for cold weather in the next few days.

Chevron jumped 3.3 percent to $118.48 and EOG Resources EOG rose 2.8 percent to $105.26.

APPLE FALLS FAR: Apple lost another 2.8 percent to $201.68. On Friday it tumbled to its biggest loss in almost five years after the tech giant gave a weak fourth-quarter forecast and said it will stop announcing how many iPhones it sold each quarter.

Daniel Ives of Wedbush said Apple made its announcement appear “flippant,” but it’s actually part of a carefully calculated strategy intended to get investors to see the company as a services provider and not just a device seller. He rates Apple stock “Outperform” with a price target of $310 a share.

EUROPE: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent while the CAC 40 in France gained 0.3 percent. Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent.

Those indexes rose even though the office of British Prime Minister Theresa May dismissed reports the country is close to reaching a divorce agreement with the European Union. Officials have said negotiators are on the brink of a deal, which could be reached this month.

The pound rose to $1.3031 from $1.2963

U.S.-CHINA TRADE: Chinese President Xi Jinping Xi promised Monday to reduce costs for importers and raise consumer spending power, but he did not address the dispute between the U.S. and China. Global markets, especially in Asia, had risen Friday after Chinese officials and President Donald Trump said a phone conversation between the two leaders had gone well. But fears resurfaced that the bullish talk might have been aimed at scoring political points just ahead of U.S. midterm elections.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.5 percent and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.9 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 2.1 percent.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.18 percent from 3.21 percent late Friday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 113.15 yen from 113.28 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1399 from $1.1398.

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at

The astronomer Carl Sagan said, “It was easy to predict mass car ownership but hard to predict Walmart.”