Tech stocks got a mild boost from Texas Instruments' bid for National Semiconductor. While tech stocks edged up, however, the Dow and S&P fell slightly.
Stock market poised Thursday to turn in its best first-quarter performance since tech bubble. Can stock market keep climbing?
A longer-than-anticipated shutdown of Japan's factories – or the spread of fighting in Libya to major oil producers – could stop a fragile economic recovery in the developed world.
Dow gains 84 points, up nearly 5 percent over the last six trading days.
Natural gas and other conventional fuel imports will rise after Japan's nuclear disaster. Asian exporters of natural gas, coal, and oil should see the biggest boost.
Stock prices are up in Asia and Europe. Futures point to a rise in US stock prices at the open.
Dow Industrials fall 242 points. Stocks on S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes also drop to lowest levels of the year.
Higher wholesale food prices contributed to a jump in the producer price index in February, the US reported Wednesday. Consumers are likely to see food prices rise at least 4 percent in 2011.
IBM, General Electric and Microsoft lead the market lower. Dow falls more than 60 points initially.