NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks faded Tuesday afternoon and finished the day mostly lower as industrial companies and retailers fell. Smaller and more U.S.-focused companies slumped after setting records the last few days.
Large industrial companies like Boeing, 3M and Caterpillar slipped, and retailers including Kohl’s, AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts fell after releasing their quarterly results. Smaller companies had their worst day of the month as a winning streak that brought them to all-time highs came to an end.
For most of the day stocks were on track for small gains. Automakers rose after China said it will reduce duties on imported cars in July, a sign the U.S. and China could resolve some of their differences on trade. Banks climbed as Congress prepared to loosen some of the rules that have governed the industry since the 2008 financial crisis.
Stocks rose Monday as investors grew more hopeful that the trade dispute between the U.S. and China will be resolved without major effects on the global economy.
The S&P 500 index slid 8.57 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,724.44. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 178.88 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,834.41. The Nasdaq composite fell 15.58 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,378.46. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gave up 12.20 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,625.24 after it closed at record highs the last four days.
J.C. Penney was one of the worst performers among both small companies and retailers. It fell 6 percent to $2.35 after it said Chairman and CEO Marvin Ellison will leave to become CEO of Lowe’s. He worked at Lowe’s rival Home Depot for 12 years before he was hired by J.C. Penney, which reported weak first-quarter results less than a week ago.
Elsewhere, jeans retailer Guess fell 7.9 percent to $23.80. Kohl’s had a strong second quarter, but said much of that strength came because a Mother’s Day-related sale came earlier in the year. While that helped the company in the fiscal second quarter, it will hurt its sales in the third and fourth quarters. Kohl’s sank 7.4 percent to $60.61.
Banks reported record profits in the first quarter of the year as last year’s corporate tax cut juiced their profits. BB&T Corp. gained 1.3 percent to $55.53 and Bank of America rose 1.1 percent to $30.89.
China followed up on a promise it made in April by reducing auto import duties effective July 1. That follows pledges to buy more U.S. goods and end restrictions on foreign ownership in the industry.
Tata Motors of India advanced 4 percent to $22.91 and Fiat Chrysler gained 1.3 percent to $22.62.
Benchmark U.S. crude shed an early gain and fell 0.2 percent to $72.13 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 0.4 percent to $79.57 per barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline rose 0.6 percent to $2.27 a gallon. Heating oil added 0.3 percent to $2.28 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 3.5 percent to $2.91 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,292 an ounce. Silver added 0.3 percent to $16.58 an ounce. Copper rose 1.1 percent to $3.13 a pound.
Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 3.06 percent.
The dollar declined to 111.02 yen from 111.11 yen. The euro rose to $1.1779 from $1.1772.