Mixed Finish for Stocks as Energy Rises and Tech Drops


U.S. stocks closed mixed Thursday as technology companies took their worst loss in six weeks, but energy companies rose with oil prices. A four-day winning streak for the S&P 500 index ended.

Energy companies rallied as the price of U.S. crude oil rose almost 2 percent. Smaller companies fell. Like technology companies, they’ve done far better than the rest of the market in the last few weeks. Some stocks that have struggled lately, including utilities, finished with gains.

Household goods makers also broke from their recent losses to finish higher. J.M. Smucker dropped after issuing a weak quarterly report and a disappointing forecast for the year. Bond prices climbed and yields dipped.

The S&P 500 index lost 1.98 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,770.37. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 95.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,241.41, helped by big gains for McDonald’s and Chevron.

The Nasdaq composite slumped 54.17 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,635.07. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks slid 8.17 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,667.77. Both of those indexes set all-time highs the last few days.

More stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.9 percent to $65.95 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 2.6 percent to $77.32 per barrel in London.

Chevron jumped 2.9 percent to $126.96 and Exxon Mobil rose 1 percent to $82.88.

Technology stocks have fared far better than the rest of the market for more than a year, but that pattern broke Thursday. Facebook lost 1.7 percent to $188.18 and Microsoft fell 1.6 percent to $100.88. Chipmaker Lam Research shed 5.4 percent to $188.83.

Smucker’s profit and sales fell short of analyst estimates, as did the company’s forecasts for the new fiscal year. The maker of jams, jellies and other foods said it is facing difficulties including higher raw materials and freight costs and rising interest rates. The stock lost 5.4 percent to $100.80.

Allergan jumped 5.1 percent to $163.27 after Bloomberg News reported that investor Carl Icahn bought a small stake in the Botox maker. Bloomberg had no details on Icahn’s plans.

The dollar fell to 109.60 yen from 110.19 yen. The euro rose to $1.1813 from $1.1768 after a European Central Bank board member said policymakers will discuss ending the bank’s bond-purchasing stimulus program next week.

The Federal Reserve, meanwhile, is expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday. That would be the second increase in rates this year, and the Fed has said it expects to raise rates three times in 2018.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.92 percent from 2.97 percent.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 2.2 percent to $2.11 a gallon. Heating oil jumped 2.5 percent to $2.18 a gallon. Natural gas climbed 1.2 percent to $2.93 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,303 an ounce. Silver added 0.7 percent to $16.82 an ounce. Copper gained 0.4 percent to $3.28 a pound.

Germany’s DAX lost 0.1 percent and the CAC 40 in France slid 0.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent after London’s stock exchange opened one hour late because of a technical problem.