Oil Price Drop Sinks Energy Stocks, Threatening Win Streak


stocks, markets, wall street, s&p, dow

U.S. stocks are mostly lower Wednesday as energy companies sink along with the price of oil. That’s threatening a four-day winning streak that brought the S&P 500 index to a six-month high. Banks and technology companies are making small gains.

Wall Street is mainly focused on company earnings even after the U.S. said it will put new tariffs on $16 billion in imports from China.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index was little changed at 2,857 as of 12:20 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,586. The Nasdaq composite slid 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,884. The Russell 2000 index of smaller and more U.S.-focused stocks sank 2 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,685.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Match Group jumped 17 percent to $45.48 after its adjusted profit and revenue beat expectations. Match also reported big gains in subscribers.

Snap, which runs the Snapchat video app, fell 6.5 percent to $12.26 after it said daily users fell during the second quarter. It’s the latest technology company to have its stock drop after announcing discouraging user totals, joining Facebook, Twitter and Netflix.

STOMACH ACHE: Twinkie maker Hostess Brands plunged 16.8 percent to $11.60 after it said its results were hurt by cuts in promotional support and inventory from a major retailer and higher costs, including for transportation.

Pizza maker Papa John’s fell 4.4 percent to $39.28 after it said North American sales fell again and cut its forecasts for the year. The company is in a public spat with founder John Schnatter, who was ousted as chairman in July after a report he used a racial slur in a conference call.

Domino’s, a rival pizza delivery company, climbed 2.7 percent to $284.95.

ENERGY: Oil futures fell sharply. U.S. crude oil lost 4 percent to $66.43 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 3.5 percent to $72.01 a barrel in London.

Exxon Mobil lost 1 percent to $80.43 and Chevron dipped 1.4 percent to 123.40.

OFF ROADING: Cars.com and Avis Budget Group both sank after they cut their sales forecasts. Rental car company Avis lost 13.4 percent to $33.54 while Cars.com, an online auto marketplace, skidded 2 percent to $27.47.

Struggling rival Hertz jumped 24 percent Tuesday after a better-than-expected quarterly report. Hertz fell 5.3 percent to $18.49 Wednesday.

HEALTH CARE: Drugstore and pharmacy benefits manager CVS raised its annual profit forecast and rose 2.4 percent to $67.02. CVS said prescriptions sales grew, although it took a loss after it wrote down the value of its Omnicare pharmacy services business by almost $4 billion.

Generic drugmaker Mylan dropped 3 percent to $37.40 after its profit and sales fell short of Wall Street projections. The company, which also sells the EpiPen allergy shot, said its board will look for ways to boost its stock price.

MOUSE HOUSE: Walt Disney stock fell 1.6 percent to $114.65 after the entertainment company’s profit and revenue fell short of analyst estimates.

TARIFF UPDATE: The Trump administration says it will put a 25 percent tax on $16 billion of Chinese imports on Aug. 23. It announced that plan previously but hadn’t said when the tariffs might take effect. There was no immediate response from Beijing.

Both countries put taxes on $34 billion in imports earlier this month, and they have threatened much larger tariffs to come.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.94 yen from 111.43. The euro inched up to $1.1596 from $1.1594.

BONDS: Bond prices turned higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.96 percent from 2.97 percent.

OVERSEAS: The German DAX fell 0.1 percent and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.4 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 index rose 0.8 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gave up early gains and closed 0.1 percent lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent while South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.1 percent higher.

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