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Business

U.S. Stock Indexes Edge Lower in Early Trading; Oil Falling

The dollar was losing ground a day after it spiked on the prospect of further rate hikes from the Fed. The U.S. currency slipped to 112.35 yen from 112.38 yen on Wednesday. The euro climbed to $1.1912 from $1.1885

A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo, photo: AP
4 weeks ago

U.S. stock indexes veered slightly lower in early trading Thursday as investors sized up the latest batch of company earnings and deal news. Technology stocks were down the most. Consumer focused-companies also fell, while energy stocks declined as the price of crude oil headed lower. Insurers and other financial companies led the gainers.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,500 as of 10:18 a.m. ET. The Dow Jones industrials fell 30 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,381. Both indexes extended their recent streak of record highs on Wednesday. The Nasdaq composite lost 37 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,418. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,444.

YELLEN HAS SPOKEN: The stock market was coming off modest gains on Wednesday following the latest policy update from the Federal Reserve. The central bank indicated that it remains on course to raise interest rates on several occasions over the coming year.

TECH WRECK: Investors continued to rotate out of technology stocks. Despite the pullback, the sector remains up about 25 percent to lead all other gainers in the S&P 500. Chipmaker Nvidia slid $5.36, or 2.9 percent, to $180.48.

READ ENOUGH: “Harry Potter” publisher Scholastic sank 9.7 percent after reporting a disappointing quarter. The stock slid $3.73 to $34.78.

FINANCIALS FAVORED: Insurers and other financial companies were leading the gainers. Everest ReGroup climbed $1.07, or 0.5 percent, to $225.89. XL Group rose 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $39.17.

PAIRING OFF: Calgon Carbon soared 61.6 percent after the maker of water and air filtration systems agreed to be acquired by Japanese company Kurary for $1.1 billion. The stock gained $8.13 to $21.33. Ash Grove Cement jumped 81.2 percent after saying it would be bought by CRH. Ash Grove added $231.50 to $516.50.

SERVE YOURSELF: Meal kit maker Blue Apron added 1.4 percent after a rival company, Plated, agreed to be acquired. Blue Apron has had a lousy run this year. It cut its IPO prices before it went public and started trading at $10 a share. Shares were up 8 cents to $5.30.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.25 percent from 2.27 percent late Wednesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar was losing ground a day after it spiked on the prospect of further rate hikes from the Fed. The U.S. currency slipped to 112.35 yen from 112.38 yen on Wednesday. The euro climbed to $1.1912 from $1.1885.

ENERGY: Oil futures were headed lower. Benchmark U.S. crude was down 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $50.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 41 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $55.88 a barrel in London.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: World markets were mixed. In Europe, Germany’s DAX was 0.3 percent higher, while the CAC 40 in France edged up 0.5 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was unchanged. Earlier, in Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2 percent as the yen weakened against the dollar. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.2 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.1 percent.

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