U.S. Stock Indexes End Mostly Lower, End 3-Day Winning Streak

NEW YORK (AP) -

U.S. stocks indexes barely budged Thursday as the market’s three-day winning streak stalled.

The benchmark S&P 500 index finished essentially flat as losses in communications, industrial and health care stocks outweighed gains in financial and technology companies.

The market was coming off a solid three-day rally as it reclaimed some of the momentum it had in January and February.

Investors are still waiting for some more news on U.S.-China trade negotiations before they feel comfortable pushing the market much higher. Media reports had stoked hope that a summit would take place this month, but no concrete announcement has been made.

The S&P 500 index slipped 2.44 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,808.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 7.05 points, or 0.03 percent, to 25,709.94.

The Nasdaq composite dropped 12.50 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,630.91. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 6.25 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,549.63.

Major indexes in Europe finished higher.

The S&P 500, Nasdaq, Dow and Russell 2000 are showing double-digit gains for the year so far.

Still, investors spent Thursday in a wait-and-see mode, keeping a close watch on global trade issues and continuing to mostly brush off the chaos surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union, its key trading bloc.

Take-Two Interactive Software led the slide in communications companies. The stock slid 3.8 percent.

Facebook fell 1.8 percent after the New York Times reported that its data-sharing practices are under criminal investigation, the latest in a list of privacy scandals the social media company faces.

Boeing fell 1 percent. The stock has slumped throughout the week as nations and airlines ground its newest 737s over safety concerns.

Retailers were among the big decliners Thursday.

Tailored Brands, which owns Men’s Wearhouse, plunged 25.1 percent after giving investors a surprisingly weak first-quarter profit forecast. The company has been trying to increase sales at both Men’s Wearhouse and its Jos. A. Bank stores, but is facing a tougher retail market.

Shares in other apparel retailers also fell. L Brands dropped 3.1 percent, while Gap gave up 1.8 percent.

Dollar General slid 7.5 percent after the company’s fourth-quarter profit fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

Rival discount chain Dollar Tree dropped 1.9 percent.

Technology companies and banks led the gainers. Apple rose 1.1 percent and Wells Fargo added 0.9 percent.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.63 percent from 2.61 percent late Wednesday.

The dollar strengthened to 111.73 Japanese yen from 111.05 yen on Wednesday. The euro fell to $1.1300 from $1.1329.

The price of U.S. crude oil rose 0.6 percent to settle at $58.61 a barrel, while Brent crude dropped 0.5 percent to close at $67.23 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline declined 0.4 percent to $1.85 a gallon, heating oil slid 0.4 percent to $1.98 a gallon and natural gas picked up 1.2 percent to $2.86 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The price of gold fell 1.1 percent to $1,295.10 an ounce, silver dropped 1.8 percent to $15.17 an ounce and copper lost 1.5 percent to $2.89 a pound.