U.S. Indexes Are Weighed Down By Industrials, Energy Stocks

NEW YORK ( AP) -

 

Losses among Boeing, General Electric and other big industrial companies weighed on U.S. stocks Thursday, pulling the market below the record highs it set the day before.

Energy stocks contributed to the modest decline following a slide in crude oil prices. Technology companies accounted for the biggest gains. Bond yields climbed to their highest level since March as demand for bonds waned.

Investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings news as well as on developments in Washington ahead of a possible federal government shutdown this weekend.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 4.53 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,798.03. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 97.84 points, or 0.4 percent, to 26,017.81. The Nasdaq slid 2.23 points, or 0.03 percent, to 7,296.05. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 9.93 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,576.73.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that groundbreakings on new U.S. homes declined in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million units. The drop was a reversal from robust gains for October and November.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 2.63 percent from 2.59 percent late Wednesday.

A slide in industrials stocks weighed heaviest on the market Thursday. Boeing had its worst day since September 2016. The stock lost $10.85, or 3.1 percent, to $340.16. General Electric declined 58 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $16.77.

Alcoa tumbled 7 percent after the company reported a wider loss in the fourth quarter. Alcoa said it will freeze its pension and move some employees to a defined contribution retirement plan starting in 2021 as it looks to cut costs. The stock lost $3.99 to $53.

Several banks also reported quarterly results. Morgan Stanley rose after its latest earnings beat Wall Street’s expectations. The stock added 49 cents to $55.84. Bank of NY Mellon and KeyCorp declined after their latest results disappointed traders. Bank of NY Mellon lost $2.54, or 4.4 percent, to $55.35, while KeyCorp dropped 44 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $20.82.

Technology stocks, one of the biggest gainers this year, continued to notch gains. Advanced Micro Devices picked up 29 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $12.47.

Wyndham Worldwide agreed to buy La Quinta’s hotel franchise and management business. Shares in La Quinta added 73 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $20.18. Wyndham gained $5.60, or 4.8 percent, to $122.73.

A decline in oil prices weighed on energy sector stocks. Baker Hughes slid $1.55, or 4.3 percent, to $34.74.

Benchmark crude slipped 2 cents to settle at $63.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slid 7 cents to close at $69.31 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 111.98 yen from 111.13 yen on Wednesday. The strengthened to $1.2242 from $1.2235.

Gold dropped $12 to $1,327.20 an ounce. Silver slipped 21 cents to $16.95 an ounce. Copper rose 1 cent to $3.20 a pound.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline added 3 cents to $1.88 a gallon. Heating oil dropped a penny to $2.06 a gallon. Natural gas fell 4 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.19 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Major stock indexes in Europe finished mixed. Germany’s DAX rose 0.7 percent, while France’s CAC 40 was little changed. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.3 percent.

In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 finished 0.4 percent lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4 percent after China reported 6.9 percent economic growth in 2017.