Tech, banks lead early losses for US stocks; oil heads lower
U.S. stocks declined in early trading Wednesday as investors weighed a batch of economic data and company earnings. The slide was broad, with technology companies and banks accounting for the largest losses. Energy stocks also fell as crude oil prices headed lower.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 14 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,563 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 123 points, or 0.5 percent, to 23,286. The Nasdaq composite slid 42 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,695. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 14 points, or 1 percent, to 1,457.
ECONOMIC SNAPSHOTS: Traders were weighing new government data on inflation, retail sales and manufacturing activity. The Labor Department said consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent last month, the smallest gain in three months. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.2 percent in October. And a closely watched report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed manufacturing expanded at a slower pace this month in New York, but remained at a healthy level.
REBOOT: Technology sector stocks helped drag the market lower. Alliance Data Systems lost $5.95, or 2.6 percent, to $220.22. Macom Solutions Technology Holdings slumped 12.2 percent after the chipmaker’s latest quarterly results fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. The stock gave up $4.48 to $32.13.
MISSING THE MARK: Target slid 7.6 percent after the retailer issued a weak profit forecast for the quarter including the holiday season. The stock was down $4.56 to $55.53.
OIL SLIDE: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 61 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $55.09 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was off 65 cents, or 1 percent, at $61.56 a barrel in London. A report from the International Energy Agency pointing to strong production growth in the years ahead, particularly in the U.S., has weighed on oil prices this week. That’s pulled down energy stocks, such as Marathon Petroleum, which fell $1.73, or 2.8 percent, to $60.74.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.35 percent from 2.37 percent late Tuesday. The decline in bond yields helped pull banks lower. Citigroup fell 66 cents, or about 1 percent, to $70.88.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.70 yen from 113.40 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1820 from $1.1794.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 1.1 percent, while the CAC 40 in France slid 0.8 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.7 percent lower. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index tumbled 1.6 percent as manufacturers’ shares were stung by a stronger yen. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.0 percent, while Australia’s S&P ASX 200 fell 0.6 percent. The Kospi of South Korea declined 0.3 percent.