U.S. Stock Indexes Close Lower, Slide Below Record High Levels

NEW YORK (AP) -

U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Monday, capping a mostly quiet day of trading that eased the market back from record highs set late last week.

Utilities and materials companies posted some of the biggest losses. Energy stocks led the gainers, even as crude oil prices declined. Technology companies and banks also bucked the downward trend. Google parent Alphabet closed above $1,000 a share for the first time.

The dip snapped a two-day winning streak for stocks, which have been mostly pushing higher this year. The major stock market indexes hit new highs last Thursday and Friday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 2.97 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,436.10. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22.25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,184.04. The Nasdaq composite index lost 10.11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,295.68.

Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 slid 8.94 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,396.45. Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

Encouraging economic data, low interest rates, strong consumer confidence and solid company earnings have helped keep investors in a buying mood this year, driving U.S. stocks higher.

Even so, trading got off to a subdued start Monday and largely remained that way, reflecting a dearth of new major economic data and relatively few company earnings releases.

Traders had their eye on geopolitical developments, including the terror attacks in London over the weekend and the decision by a Saudi-led coalition to withdraw diplomatic staff from Qatar over its support for Islamist groups and its relations with Iran.

Benchmark U.S. crude slid 26 cents, or 0.5 percent, to close at $47.40 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 48 cents, or 1 percent, to close at $49.47 a barrel in London.

Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield inched up to 2.18 percent from 2.19 percent Friday, when it sank to its lowest level of the year.

Investors bid up shares of some technology companies, giving the sector a slight gain. Among them: Google’s parent Alphabet, which eclipsed the $1,000 per share threshold for the first time. The search giant’s stock added $7.76, or 0.8 percent, to $1,003.88.

Herbalife was among the day’s big movers. The seller of supplements and weight-loss products slid 6.7 percent after it lowered its second-quarter revenue and volume projections. The stock lost $4.93 to $68.99.

Several major overseas stock indexes closed lower.

Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 percent as investors focused on the fallout from the London attack. The attack comes ahead of Thursday’s general election. France’s CAC 40 fell 0.7 percent and the German stock exchange was closed for a holiday.

Qatar’s main stock index tumbled 7.3 percent after Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended flat.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 4 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $1.54 per gallon. Heating oil dipped 3 cents to $1.46 per gallon. Natural gas dipped 2 cents to $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Among metals, gold rose $2.50 to $1,282.70 per ounce. Silver added 6 cents to $17.58 per ounce, while copper lost 2 cents to $2.56 per pound.

In currency trading, the euro fell to $1.1255 from $1.1276 on Friday. The dollar weakened to 110.49 from 110.50 yen.