Banks Lead U.S. Stocks Slightly Lower in Afternoon Trading

(AP) -
(Reuters/Andrew Kelly)

Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stock indexes slightly lower in afternoon trading Wednesday as investors weighed the latest company earnings news. Real estate, utilities and other stocks that pay large dividends were among the biggest gainers as bond yields fell. Oil prices rebounded after an early slide.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 44 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,045 as of 1:16 p.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped less than 1 point to 2,292. The Nasdaq composite index slid less than 1 point to 5,674. The Nasdaq was coming off an all-time high set Tuesday.

BIG DECLINER: Akamai Technologies gave up 10.5 percent after the cloud services company’s latest guidance disappointed investors. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, sliding $7.48 to $63.64.

DRUG DRAG: Gilead Sciences plunged 9.9 percent after the biotechnology company forecast disappointing sales of its hepatitis C drugs. The stock gave up $7.27 to reach $65.86.

HEALTHY SALES: Myriad Genetics jumped 9.4 percent after the diagnostic test maker said sales of hereditary cancer tests have begun rising again, driving revenue to the highest level in three years. The stock gained $1.44 to $16.84.

HUNGRY FOR MORE: Panera Bread climbed 8.2 percent after the bakery chain announced solid fourth-quarter results and gave a better-than-expected forecast for sales at older locations. The stock rose $17.65 to $231.92.

NO WRINKLES: Allergan rose 2.1 percent after the Botox maker turned in better-than-expected quarterly results. Its shares added $4.91 to reach $237.53.

MOUSE HOUSE: Disney was up 0.5 percent after the media conglomerate’s latest quarterly earnings beat Wall Street’s estimates. The stock climbed 55 cents to $109.55.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was down 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 was 0.3 percent higher. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat. Major indexes in Asia were mixed. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rebounded from early losses to rise 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7 percent. Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent.

OIL: Crude oil prices rebounded after an early slide. Benchmark U.S. crude was up 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $52.38 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, was up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $55.22 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.75 yen from 112.19 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.0704 from $1.0696.

TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.35 percent from 2.40 percent late Tuesday.