U.S. Stocks Slide as Industrial and Technology Companies Fall

NEW YORK (AP) -
Trader George Ettinger, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Major U.S. indexes are down Thursday following modest losses the day before. Industrial companies, which have surged in recent months, are slipping. Technology companies are trading lower, which could end a 15-day winning streak for the sector.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 9 points to 20,766 as of 11:20 a.m. Eastern time. The blue-chip index has risen for nine consecutive days. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,357. The Nasdaq composite lost 45 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,815. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks tumbled 17 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,386.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on track for their biggest losses in February.

TALKING TURKEY: Wall Street was disappointed with Hormel Foods’ first-quarter profit and sales. The company said low turkey prices hurt its Jennie-O Turkey store business. Hormel cut its annual profit estimate because it expects those prices to remain weak. The stock fell $2.90, or 7.8 percent, to $34.40.

PC POWER: HP Inc. blew past analyst estimates in the fourth quarter, thanks to a 10 percent jump in revenue from personal computers. The company said Notebook sales jumped, which made up for lower printer revenue and flat desktop sales. The stock added $1.39, or 8.6 percent, to $17.59.

ENGINES STALLED: Industrial companies, which have made big gains since the presidential election and are trading at all-time highs, declined for the second day in a row. Caterpillar gave up $2.37, or 2.4 percent, to $95.83; and General Electric lost 11 cents to $29.98. United Rentals shed $5.06, or 4 percent, to $123.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.39 percent from 2.42 percent.

Income-seeking investors bought shares of utilities, real estate investment trusts, and other companies that tend to pay large dividends. FirstEnergy picked up 53 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $31.32, while Realty Income gained 97 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $62.11.

RECALL WOES: Boston Scientific sank after it said it will take all of its Lotus Valve devices off the market and from clinical testing sites because of a manufacturing problem. The device is intended to replace damaged or defective aortic valves. Last year the company announced a similar problem with a related product, its Lotus Edge Valve System. Boston Scientific stock lost 83 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $24.33.

Competitor Edwards Lifescience jumped $3.83, or 4.2 percent, to $96.04.

FAIR AND SQUARE: Mobile payments processor Square jumped after it reported a larger profit than analysts expected. Wall Street was also pleased with the company’s forecasts for 2017. Square stock rose $1.92, or 12.8 percent, to $16.96 and reached an all-time high. The company went public in November 2015.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures rebounded, rising $1.07, or 2 percent, to $54.66 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for pricing international oils, rose $1.10, or 2 percent, to $57.14 a barrel in London.

SWITCHING COURSE: Communications technology company Arris gave a weak sales forecast. The company also said it will team up with Broadcom to buy Brocade Communications’ Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch business for about $800 million. Wall Street appeared to take a dim view of that move.

“We’re afraid they’re buying a business that’s too far afield from their core business,” said Jefferies analyst George Notter.

Arris stock dropped $4.60, or 15 percent, to $26.10.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 112.61 yen from 113.12 yen. The euro rose to $1.0589 from $1.0568.

OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 index was down 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX fell 0.2 percent. The French CAC 40 traded 0.1 percent higher. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost less than 0.1 percent and the Kospi of South Korea finished 0.1 percent higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.4 percent.