NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are little changed Tuesday as energy companies continue to rise with oil prices, but airlines fall as investors anticipate higher fuel costs. Interest rates are rising as investors expect the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark rate Wednesday, and high-dividend companies are declining. A busy week for deals continued as Arby’s parent company agreed to buy Sonic and Michael Kors confirmed it will buy Versace.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 1 point to 2,918 as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 8 points to 26,553. The Nasdaq composite added 13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,006. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,711.
OIL BOOST: Oil prices continued to rise after a weekend meeting of OPEC and its allies ended without an increase in oil production. Oil prices have also climbed recently because Iran is exporting less oil after the U.S. withdrew from the international nuclear deal with Iran and announced more sanctions on the country.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.3 percent to $72.30 a barrel in New York. It’s at its highest price in about three months after it peaked at more than $74 a barrel in July. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, rose 1.1 percent to $81.38 a barrel in London. Brent crude is at its highest price since November 2014.
ConocoPhillips rose 1.6 percent to $78.30 and Philips 66 added 2.1 percent to $115.79.
UNFRIENDED: The co-founders of Instagram are resigning from Facebook. CEO Kevin Systrom said he and Mike Krieger, Instagram’s chief technical officer, plan to leave in the next few weeks. He gave no explanation. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and it’s been a bright spot for company. It’s seen as a more uplifting place than Facebook itself and is popular with teens and young people, a group Facebook has had trouble keeping around.
The stock fell as much as 2.6 percent early on, but later recovered those losses and traded at $165.39, about even with Monday’s close.
JPMorgan Chase analyst Doug Anmuth said the pair’s exit might be connected to Facebook pressuring Instagram for greater user growth and monetization, and reports that Facebook is exerting more control over Instagram.
CenturyLink sank 7.3 percent to $21.23 after it said its chief financial officer, Sunit Patel, is leaving. Patel worked for Level 3 Communications for 14 years before CenturyLink bought Level 3 last year. T-Mobile USA said he will be in charge of mergers and integration as it tries to combine with rival Sprint.
T-Mobile rose 0.6 percent to $69.31.
RATES: Bond prices kept falling. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.11 percent from 3.07 percent. Investors bought bonds and sold shares of high-dividend companies. Among utilities, Southern Co. fell 2.1 percent to $42.93 and consumer goods maker Procter & Gamble lost 1 percent to $83.41.
The Federal Reserve is meeting Tuesday and it’s almost certain the central bank will raise interest rates on Wednesday. That would be the third increase this year and would take the benchmark rate to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent, with another boost expected this year and more to come in 2019.
The Fed has raised rates eight times since late 2015. Before that, rates stayed at a record low for seven years beginning in 2008 at the peak of the financial crisis.
Stocks usually do well when the Fed starts to raise interest rates because the higher rates reflect solid economic growth, which is linked to strong company profits. But as the rate increases continue, in line with the Fed’s goal of keeping inflation in check, the effect on stocks can become negative as economic growth slows.
MORE DEALS: Drive-in restaurant chain Sonic jumped 18.4 percent to $43.35 after it agreed to be bought by Inspire Brands, which also owns Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. The purchase values Sonic at $43.50 a share, or $1.57 billion. Inspire Brands is controlled by the private equity firm Roark Capital. It was known as Arby’s until it bought Buffalo Wild Wings in February and adopted a new name.
XO Group, which runs the wedding marketplace The Knot, jumped 25.7 percent to $34.76 after it accepted an offer from competitor WeddingWire worth $35 a share, or about $907 million.
Michael Kors said it will pay more than $2 billion for Italian fashion house Gianni Versace. Kors and its competitors continue to buy luxury brands to add more glamour to their businesses. Its stock dropped 8.2 percent Monday following reports it would buy Versace, and rebounded 1.5 percent to $67.68 Tuesday.
Companies around the world have announced $3.26 trillion in deals this year, according to Dealogic, far above the $2.49 billion in deals that were struck over the first three quarters of 2017.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.95 yen from 112.73 yen. The euro rose to $1.1770 from $1.1758.
OVERSEAS: The British FTSE 100 index rose 0.7 percent. The DAX in Germany added 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.1 percent.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.3 percent and the Sensex in India slipped 0.1 percent. Markets in Hong Kong and Seoul were closed for holidays.
By MARLEY JAY, Associated Press