U.S. Stocks Slip Again as Technology Companies Extend Slump


Technology companies suffered another day of sharp losses Thursday, although the broader market didn’t fare as badly.

Chipmakers sank after an executive from KLA-Tencor said business in the fourth quarter looks weaker than the company expected. Apple also fell, and social media companies continued to sink after Congressional hearings weighed on the stocks the day before.

The S&P 500 index shed 10.55 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,878.05. The Nasdaq composite fell 72.45 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,922.73. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined 13.18 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,714.47.

However industrial companies and high-dividend stocks rose, which limited the market’s losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20.88 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,995.87 as Boeing, 3M and United Technologies headed higher.

Apple fell 1.7 percent to $222.10 and KLA-Tencor lost 9.7 percent to $107.28. Facebook gave up 2.8 percent to $162.53 and Twitter slid 5.9 percent to $30.81, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, declined 1.3 percent to $1,183.99. Those companies took similar losses Wednesday.

The Nasdaq, which has a high concentration of technology companies, is down 2.3 percent this week. But for the second day in a row, big losses for technology companies and for Amazon, the second-largest U.S. company, were partly canceled out by gains elsewhere.

Bond prices turned higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.87 percent from 2.90 percent. That made big dividend payers including utilities and household goods makers more appealing, and their stocks rose.

No major trade developments emerged during trading hours. The U.S. and Canada continued negotiations to keep Canada in an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The U.S. could put a 25 percent tax on $200 billion in Chinese goods after a public comment period on the proposal expired Thursday, and media reports have said the tariffs could be announced this week. China has vowed to retaliate.

CBS jumped after the Wall Street Journal reported that the network and its parent company are in talks to settle a lawsuit. As part of that settlement, National Amusements would give up on its bid to merge CBS with Viacom, which it also controls. CBS’s board and shareholders opposed the merger, and its stock gained 3.2 percent to $54.62. Viacom dipped 0.6 percent to $29.25.

While the U.S. economy has gained strength this year, investors are worried that rising interest rates and trade disputes will harm fast-growing, but often fragile, economies elsewhere. The currencies of Argentina, Turkey and Iran have all hit record lows recently. Venezuela’s currency has lost almost all its value.

Oil prices fell for the second day in a row. Benchmark U.S. crude shed 1.4 percent to $67.77 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 1 percent to $76.50 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline slid 0.7 percent to $1.95 a gallon. Heating oil slumped 1.1 percent to $2.21 a gallon. Natural gas gave up 0.8 percent to $2.77 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,204.30 an ounce. Silver fell 0.3 percent to $14.18 an ounce. Copper gained 1 percent to $2.64 a pound.

The dollar dipped to 110.83 yen from 111.51 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1625 from $1.1623.