U.S. Stocks Decline For a Second Straight Day; Oil Falls

NEW YORK (AP) -

Technology companies led U.S. stocks lower Wednesday, giving the market its biggest loss since early September.

Grocery stores and packaged foods and beverage companies accounted for much of the decline. Energy stocks fell as the price of crude oil closed lower a day after its biggest loss since October. Banks and phone companies had modest gains. The latest slide extended the market’s losses from a day earlier and added to its pullback in November.

The S&P 500 index fell 14.25 points, 0.6 percent, to 2,564.62. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 138.19 points, 0.6 percent, to 23,271.28. The Nasdaq slid 31.66 points, 0.5 percent, to 6,706.21. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 7.16 points, 0.5 percent, to 1,464.09.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.2 percent in October, while a closely watched report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed manufacturing expanded at a slower pace this month in New York, but remained at a healthy level. In addition, the Labor Department said consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent last month, the smallest gain in three months. That followed a report showing that prices at the wholesale level spiked last month.

Technology stocks, which have done far better than the rest of the market this year, took some of the biggest losses. Chipmaker Nvidia lost $4.20, or 2 percent, to $209.98. Macom Solutions Technology Holdings slumped 18 percent after the chipmaker’s latest quarterly results fell short of expectations. The stock gave up $6.59 to $30.02. Companies that make consumer products also were big decliners. General Mills slid $1.59, or 2.9 percent, to $52.53. Target slumped 9.9 percent after issuing a weak profit forecast for the quarter, including the year-end shopping season. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, tumbling $5.93 to $54.16.

IBM fell 1.2 percent after Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it sold another chunk of the technology company’s stock. IBM declined $1.79 to $147.10.

Investors bid up shares in banks and other financial companies. BofA climbed 55 cents, 2.1 percent, to $26.79.

Crude oil prices pared some of their early losses, but still finished lower.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 37 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $55.33 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 34 cents, or 0.5 percent, to close at $61.87 a barrel in London.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline gave up 2 cents to $1.74 a gallon. Heating oil was little changed at $1.91 a gallon. Natural gas declined 2 cents to $3.08 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold fell $5.20 to $1,277.70 an ounce. Silver slid 10 cents to $16.97 an ounce. Copper shed 1 cent to $3.06 a pound.

The dollar fell to 112.89 yen from 113.40 yen on Tuesday. The euro was unchanged at $1.1794.

Major stock indexes in Europe also closed lower. Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 percent, while the CAC 40 in France slid 0.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.6 percent lower.

Earlier in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index tumbled 1.6 percent as manufacturers’ shares were stung by a stronger yen. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.0 percent, while Australia’s S&P ASX 200 fell 0.6 percent. The Kospi of South Korea declined 0.3 percent.