NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. stocks finished mostly lower Thursday as energy companies skidded along with oil prices. The market dropped after President Donald Trump said he canceled a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but recovered most of those losses.
Crude oil futures and energy companies fell as investors reacted to reports that OPEC nations may start producing more oil. Banks fell as interest rates edged lower, and car companies including Fiat Chrysler and Toyota dropped as the Trump administration considered tariffs on imported cars and car parts.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 280 points in the morning, more than 1 percent. Technology companies, which have led the market in recent years, took some of the biggest losses and defense contractors climbed.
The market gradually recovered those losses, and Mr. Trump later told reporters that the meeting could still happen. Stocks finished only slightly lower than where they were before his initial announcement.
Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for the Independent Advisor Alliance, said investors were troubled at first by Trump and Kim’s statements about a possible nuclear war, but they’ve gotten used to it, which means the market doesn’t react as much to their statements.
The S&P 500 index dropped 5.53 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,727.76. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 75.05 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,811.76. The Nasdaq composite dipped 1.53 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 7,424.43. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged up 0.61 points to 1,628.22.
Benchmark U.S. crude lost 1.6 percent to $70.71 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 1.3 percent to $78.79 a barrel in London.
Various news outlets reported the nations of the OPEC cartel might start producing more oil in response to reduced exports from Venezuela and Iran. Greater supplies would lower prices. Energy companies have slipped as investors anticipated that possibility. On Thursday Exxon Mobil lost 2.3 percent to $80.27 and Chevron dipped 1.6 percent to $126.61.
OPEC and a group of other major oil producers cut production last year in response to a steep drop in oil prices. U.S. crude had fallen from more than $100 a barrel in mid-2014 to as little as $26 a barrel in early 2016. On Monday U.S. crude peaked at $72.24 a barrel, its highest price since late 2014.
Defense companies fared better than the rest of the market. Raytheon rose 1.3 percent to $213.94 and Northrop Grumman gained 1.4 percent to $332.81.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.97 percent from 2.99 percent, and banks traded lower. Metals prices increased as the dollar weakened. Gold gained 1.1 percent to $1,304.40 an ounce and silver jumped 1.7 percent to $16.69 an ounce. Copper rose 0.8 percent to $3.10 a pound.
Fiat Chrysler lost 0.9 percent to $22.26 and Tata Motors fell 5.8 percent to $21.09. Toyota shares fell 1.8 percent to $132.44. U.S. rivals Ford rose 1.6 percent to $11.62 and General Motors added 1.4 percent to $38.39.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 1.2 percent to $2.23 a gallon and heating oil lost 1 percent to $2.27 a gallon. Natural gas rose 0.9 percent to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet.