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Skidding tech and retail companies send US stocks lower

Specialist Brian Fairbrother, left, and trader Edward Landi work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Another drop in technology stocks is dragging U.S. indexes lower in early trading on Wall Street. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Specialist Brian Fairbrother, left, and trader Edward Landi work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Another drop in technology stocks is dragging U.S. indexes lower in early trading on Wall Street. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, June 15, 2017 03:25 pm

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are moving lower Thursday as technology companies, retailers, and smaller firms take some of the largest losses. Materials companies are falling along with precious metals prices. The market has recovered some of its early losses as investors buy high-dividend stocks.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,430 as of 2:40 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,349 after it closed at a record high Wednesday. The Nasdaq composite dropped 39 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,155. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks lost 11 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,407.

Stocks fell much more early in the day. The S&P 500 lost as much as 19 points. Investors appeared rattled that the Bank of England came close to raising interest rates sooner than expected, as well as reports the special counsel investigating Russian influence in the presidential campaign is now examining whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice.

TECH TURMOIL: The recent slump for technology companies continued. Apple gave up $1.31 to $143.85 and Facebook shed 91 cents to $149.34. Alphabet, Google's parent company, sank $11.05, or 1.1 percent, to $956.88. The Nasdaq is down 1 percent this week and on track for its second consecutive weekly loss.

RETAIL REVERSAL: Nike declined $1.72, or 3.2 percent, to $52.94 after the company said it will eliminate 1,400 jobs, or about 2 percent of its staff positions, and reduce the number of sneaker styles it sells by about a quarter. Amazon dipped $13.91, or 1.4 percent, to $962.56.

Grocery chain Kroger tumbled after it cut its annual profit outlook. The company faces growing competition from discount chain Aldi and from Lidl, a German chain opening its first locations in the U.S. Kroger's stock plunged $5.65, or 18.7 percent, to $24.63. Competitor Supervalu fell 27 cents, or 6.7 percent, to $3.79.

Meanwhile Mattel said wants to restructure its business to help bring new products to market faster. It will also reduce its dividend payments, although it didn't say how much. The stock fell $1.69, or 7.7 percent, to $20.45.

ENGLAND: The Bank of England left interest rates alone, but came closer to raising interest rates for the first time in 10 years than many expected. Three of the eight members of its Monetary Policy Members wanted to raise rates by a quarter-point. A growing number of its policy makers seem to be worried about a spike in inflation that is eating into the living standards of the British.
On Wednesday the Federal Reserve raised U.S. interest rates for the third time in about six months, and suggested it will raise rates again later this year.

RUSSIA PROBE: The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether President Trump tried to obstruct justice. Allegations of obstruction arose last month when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The paper said Muller, who was appointed to investigate Russian influence in the presidential election, wants to interview three Trump administration national security officials who weren't involved in Trump's campaign.

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