US stocks slide further as banks and energy companies sink – Toledo Blade

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NEW YORK — U.S. stock indexes edged lower for the second day in a row Wednesday as a sharp drop for banks and a rare loss for technology companies canceled out gains for drugmakers and consumer-focused companies.

Banks fell hard as executives from JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America said their trading businesses are having a rough second quarter. An eight-day winning streak for technology companies ended. Energy companies fell with oil prices. Investors picked consumer-focused companies, drugmakers, and high-dividend utilities and household goods companies. The New York Stock Exchange was evenly split between gainers and losers.

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“The stock market has been strong and all the while bond yields have dropped during the year,” signaling caution about the economy, said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist for Northwestern Mutual Management. “In the next couple of months we’re going to solve which is right: the bond market or the stock market.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 1.11 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,411.80. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 20.82 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,008.65. The Nasdaq composite fell 4.67 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,198.52. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks slipped 0.99 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,370.21.

Banks skidded a day earlier as bond yields dropped, which hurts banks by forcing interest rates on loans lower. Yields were little changed Wednesday, but financial firms fell again as investors worried that banks’ revenue from trading stocks, bonds and currencies is going to weaken in the second quarter.

At a financial industry conference in New York, Marianne Lake, JPMorgan Chase’s chief financial officer, said JPMorgan’s trading revenue is down about 15 percent this quarter because of a drop in fixed-income trading. She said that was because of low interest rates and remarkably low market volatility.

“There is not a lot to trade around,” she said. “People have cash but no conviction.”

At a different industry event Wednesday, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said second-quarter trading revenue will fall 10 percent compared to a year ago.

The banking industry had an outstanding first quarter, and trading was a key reason. JPMorgan Chase fell $1.75, or 2.1 percent, to $82.15 and Bank of America lost 43 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $22.41. Capital One slumped $1.36, or 1.7 percent, to $76.92 and Goldman Sachs, which saw its vaunted trading business hit a speed bump in the first quarter, gave up $7.16, or 3.3 percent, to $211.26.

Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.21 percent.

Technology companies turned lower. The tech sector has reached its highest levels since the dot-com boom and companies like Apple, Google parent Alphabet and Facebook have done far better than the rest of the market in 2017. Apple and Facebook are up 32 percent this year, and Alphabet is up 25 percent. All three slid Wednesday.

Pfizer rose 52 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $32.65 and Irish drugmaker Perrigo climbed $4,93, or 7.3 percent, to $72.85 after its first-quarter report was better than expected. Health care products maker Johnson & Johnson advanced $1.14 to $128.25.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.34, or 2.7 percent, to $48.32 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell $1.53, or 3 percent, to $50.31 a barrel in London. Energy stocks continued to decline. Exxon Mobil sank 60 cents to $80.50 and Hess declined 78 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $45.89.

Michael Kors Holdings hit a five-year low after it said it will close up to 125 stores as its sales have remained weak. The luxury retailer said sales at older stores dropped in its latest quarter and investors were disappointed with its projections for the current quarter. The stock tumbled $3.09, or 8.5 percent, to $33.18.

Solar power companies sank as investors wondered if President Donald Trump will seek to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate change accords. Officials from the European Union said the EU and China will maintain their commitments to the pact.

Shares of First Solar, the largest U.S. solar company, declined 99 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $38.51. SunPower fell 28 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $7.87 while solar wafer maker Canadian Solar retreated 73 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $12.81.

The dollar slipped to 110.57 yen from 110.78 yen. The euro rose to $1.1246 from $1.1188.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 3 cents to $1.61 a gallon. Heating oil gave up 3 cents to $1.52 a gallon. Natural gas dropped 7 cents to $3.07 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $9.70 to $1,265.40 an ounce. Silver fell 2 cents to $17.41 an ounce. Copper gained 2 cents to $2.58 a pound.

European stocks gave up an early gain. The DAX in Germany remained up 0.1 percent, but France’s CAC 40 lost 0.4 percent and the British FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dipped 0.1 percent and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2 percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong inched down 0.1 percent.

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