Losses for Banks Pull U.S. Stocks Further From Record Highs


U.S. stocks finished lower Monday for the second time in the last three trading days. Banks gave back some of their recent gains after a jump in interest rates last week sent them sharply higher.

Mining and chemical companies declined after China cut its economic growth forecast, and airlines slumped after a Delta said its business isn’t improving as fast as it hoped. There were few winners to be found on Wall Street as more than two-thirds of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange fell. That included consistent losses for banks, investment firms and insurance companies.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 7.81 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,375.31. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 51.37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,954.34. The Nasdaq composite lost 21.58 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,849.17. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 9.88 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,384.25.

All four indexes reached all-time highs last week, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have risen for six weeks in a row. That’s on top of a big surge in November and December. Those rapid gains the last few months have prompted some analysts to turn cautious.

Delta Air Lines gave a disappointing revenue projection for the second quarter and its stock lost $1.28, or 2.6 percent, to $48.85. United and American Airlines each fell 3 percent.

Poultry companies slumped after 70,000 chickens were killed at a Tennessee farm after a bird flu outbreak was discovered there. The affected farm is a supplier to Tyson Foods, and while Tyson said it doesn’t expect its business to suffer, the news brought back bad memories for investors: in 2015, U.S. poultry producers lost 48 million birds to a different strain of the virus.

Tyson stock gave up $1.61, or 2.5 percent, to $61.99. Sanderson Farms gave up $1.86, or 2 percent, to $92.53 and Pilgrim’s Pride lost 25 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $20.70.

Bond prices continued to slip. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.49 percent from 2.48 percent. Bond yields jumped last week as investors grew more certain the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month.

Companies that pay big dividends, like real estate investment trusts, fell again. Those stocks are often compared to bonds because of their high yields, and higher bond yields make them less appealing to investors.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 13 cents to $53.20 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 11 cents to $56.01 a barrel in London. Natural gas companies rose as futures jumped 2.6 percent to $2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.67 a gallon and heating oil picked up 1 cent to $1.60 a gallon.

Gold fell $1 to $1,225.50 an ounce. Silver rose 3 cents to $17.77 an ounce. Copper lost 4 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $2.65 a pound.

The dollar inched down to 113.92 yen from 114.05 yen. The euro dipped to $1.0588 from $1.0605.

In Germany the DAX fell 0.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.5 percent and the FTSE 100 in Britain shed 0.3 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index fell 0.5 percent and the South Korean Kospi gained 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.2 percent.