Stock indexes inch higher after two days of losses

US stock market edges higher after two straight losses; Cooper Tire jumps 41 percent

Associated Press
Stocks slide on Wall Street; Dow below 15,000
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In this Monday, June 10, 2013 photo, specialist Anthony Rinaldi, right, and trader Gordon Charlop work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Asian stocks fell Wednesday June 12, 2013 amid concern about a lack of new Japanese moves to calm bond markets and uncertainty about the outlook for U.S. monetary policy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market is edging up Wednesday after two days of losses.

Trading has turned choppy in the past three weeks as traders have started preparing for a time when the Federal Reserve and other central banks aren't pumping as much money into the financial system.

With no economic reports out Wednesday, stock indexes held on to small gains in the morning. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 40 points at 15,162 after the first hour of trading, a slight rise of 0.3 percent.

The Dow lost 116 points Tuesday, trailing global markets that were shaken by the Bank of Japan's decision not to take new steps to spur growth in the world's third-largest economy.

Cooper Tire & Rubber jumped 41 percent, or $10.14, to $34.70. Apollo Tyres, an Indian company, announced plans to buy the tire maker for $2.5 billion. The combined company would be one of the world's largest tire makers, Apollo said, with combined 2012 sales of $6.6 billion. Goodyear Tire also rose 72 cents, or 5 percent, to $15.33.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose four points to 1,630, a gain of 0.3 percent. The index has lost 2.6 percent since reaching a record high on May 21. The next day, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank could decide to scale back its bond-buying in the coming months if the economy looks strong enough.

Pfizer gained 29 cents, or 1 percent, to $28.71. The drugmaker settled a patent fight over a heartburn treatment with two generic drugmakers, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries. The two will pay Pfizer and Takeda Pharmaceutical $2.15 billion.

Gigamon soared $6.59, or 34 percent, to $25.35 on the company's first day of trading. The Milpitas, Calif.-based company makes equipment to monitor and control computer network traffic.

The Nasdaq composite inched up six points to 3,442, or 0.2 percent.

In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.21 percent from 2.18 percent late Tuesday.

In commodities trading, crude oil rose 60 cents to $95.98 a barrel in New York. Gold rose 6.30 to $1,383 an ounce.

Among other stocks making moves:

— Rambus, a designer of memory chips, rose 44 cents, or 5.5 percent, to $8.45 after saying it had resolved a decade-old patent dispute with South Korean chipmaker Hynix. Hynix will pay Rambus $240 million over the next five years.

— Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance jumped $13.53, or 16 percent. The company reported that its income increased 20 percent in the latest quarter as shoppers streamed into the retailer's stores and website.

— First Solar fell $1.33, or 2.5 percent, to $50.99, following news that the company plans to sell 8.5 million shares of stock. First Solar had 87.8 million shares on the market as of May 3, and its stock has more than quadrupled over the last year.

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