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

Benchmark U.S. crude was up 17 cents at $54.07 a barrel in New York. It rose 88 cents on Tuesday

The statue of George Washington on the steps of Federal Hall faces the facade of the New York Stock Exchange, photo: AP/Richard Drew, File
12 months ago

U.S. stock indexes edged lower in early trading Wednesday, weighed down by real estate and technology companies. The Nasdaq composite index was coming off a record-setting close the day before. Trading was quiet as investors looked ahead to a light week of economic and company news before the New Year’s Day holiday weekend.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 19,929 as of 10:12 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,262. The Nasdaq slid 17 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,470.

NOT FINE: Qualcomm slipped 1 percent after antitrust regulators in South Korea fined the company $865 million, claiming the chipmaker engaged in unfair sales practices, including refusing to let competitors license patents that are essential for chipmaking. The stock shed 49 cents to $66.77.

REITs: Several real estate investment trusts, or REITs, were trading lower. Extra Space Storage fell $1.29, or 1.7 percent, to $74.09. Ventas slid 90 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $60.63. Public Storage shed $2.64, or 1.2 percent, to $217.50.

BIG GAINER: CarMax was notched the biggest gain in the S&P 500 index. The used vehicles retailer rose $1.17, or 1.8 percent, to $65.48.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were flat. Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.5 percent. Earlier, in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was flat. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gained 1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.8 percent. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.9 percent. Shares in Southeast Asia were mostly higher.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 17 cents at $54.07 a barrel in New York. It rose 88 cents on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 24 cents at $57.07 a barrel in London. It gained 93 cents the day before.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.55 percent from 2.56 percent late Tuesday. In currency trading, the dollar continued to rise. It was trading at 117.75 yen, up from 117.45 on Tuesday. The euro fell to $1.0390 from $1.0458.

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