US stocks take small losses as energy companies slide
NEW YORK – U.S. stocks took small losses Friday to end a quiet week of trading. Energy companies fell as a rally in oil prices faded and investors continue to sell the safe assets they favored earlier this year. Technology and materials companies made small gains.
Stocks were lower all day. While U.S. oil prices rose for the seventh day in a row, investors don’t appear to expect further gains and they sold energy company shares. Bond prices fell and yields climbed. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 100 points in early trading, but those losses shrank as technology companies and chemicals makers added to the big gains they’ve made in recent months.
While stocks haven’t made many big moves this summer and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was flat this week, there are signs investors feel comfortable enough to take bigger risks. Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist for Voya Investment Strategies, said investors recognize that the Federal Reserve and other central banks are keeping the stock market stable. So investors are putting more money into energy, materials and tech stocks instead of the companies they turned to during the market turmoil at the start of this year.
“Central banks continue to step in to absorb the risk,” Cavanaugh said. “(Investors) don’t need the utilities and telecoms anymore.”
The Dow shed 45.13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,552.57. The S&P 500 fell 3.15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,183.87. The Nasdaq composite lost 1.77 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 5,238.38. The Nasdaq rose for the eighth week in a row, although the gain was just 0.1 percent.
U.S. crude rose 30 cents to $48.52 a barrel in New York. U.S. oil has climbed 17 percent in its seven-day streak, but its prices has stayed between $40 and $50 a barrel for about four months, and with an enormous glut of oil on the market, it may not rise much further. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 1 cent to $50.88 a barrel in London.
Chevron lost $1.23, or 1.2 percent, to $102.32 and Exxon Mobil retreated $1.11, or 1.2 percent, to $87.80.
Technology companies made small gains. Applied Materials advanced after the manufacturer of chipmaking equipment disclosed new orders and a contract backlog that were much stronger than analysts had forecast. Its stock rose $1.96, or 7.1 percent, to $29.64. Security software maker Symantec added 61 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $23.72. Apple, which is trading around four-month highs, gained 28 cents to $109.36.
Bond prices are down and yields are up after hitting record lows a month ago.On Friday the yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to 1.58 percent from 1.54 percent. The dollar also recovered some of its recent losses and rose to 100.24 yen. The currency finished at 99.98 yen Thursday, its first time below 100 yen since October 2013. The euro dipped to $1.1324 from $1.1354.
Retailers did fairly well, and that limited the losses for consumer companies. Some of the largest gains went to Foot Locker, which reported stronger results than analysts expected. The shoe store climbed $6.81, or 11 percent, to $68.49. Nike also gained $1.69, or 3 percent, to $58.90. Discount retailer Ross Stores raised its profit projections its strong second-quarter report, and its stock rose $2.18, or 3.5 percent, to $65.06.
However beauty products maker Estee Lauder skidded after its profit forecast for the current quarter and the new fiscal year fell far short of estimates. Its stock lost $3.37, or 3.5 percent, to $91.73.
Emerson Electric agreed to buy buying Pentair’s valves and controls business for $3.15 billion. Pentair acquired that business from Tyco International in 2012 as part of a larger deal between those companies and said it had $1.8 billion in revenue in 2015. Emerson stock fell $1.69, or 3.1 percent, to $52.98 and Pentair gave up 74 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $65.79.
Farm equipment maker Deere powered to its biggest gain since the end of 2008 after it posted strong results and raised its outlook for the year. The company has been cutting costs as farmers struggle with smaller profits on corn and soybeans thanks to large harvests. Deere stock added $10.38, or 13.5 percent, to $87.32.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.51 a gallon. Heating oil rose 4 cents to $1.53 a gallon. Natural gas fell 9 cents to $2.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold fell $11 to $1,346.20 an ounce. Silver lost 42 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $19.32 an ounce. Copper remained at $2.17 a pound.
France’s CAC 40 shed 0.8 percent and Germany’s DAX lost 0.6 percent. The FTSE in Britain slipped 0.1 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.4 percent as the yen got a bit weaker, easing pressure on shares of the country’s export manufacturers. The yen’s recent rise has made Japanese exports more expensive and complicated efforts to revive growth. South Korea’s Kospi edged up less than 0.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.4 percent.