Stocks drift lower in afternoon trading

AP News
Posted: Jun 10, 2014 3:11 PM
Stocks drift lower in afternoon trading

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market drifted lower Tuesday after setting a string of record highs. Shares of RadioShack slid as the retailer's losses deepened.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,947 as of 3 p.m. Eastern time. The S&P 500, the most widely used benchmark for mutual funds, closed at an all-time high on Monday and finished higher for a fourth day in a row.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,930, while the Nasdaq gave up four points, less than 0.1 percent, to 4,332.

The losses were broad but small. Seven of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 fell, led by industrials with a 0.4 percent drop.

DOUBTERS: After slumping earlier this year, the stock market has been on a slow and steady climb since April. In recent weeks, a number of encouraging economic reports have helped push the S&P 500 to a series of record highs and left the index up 5.5 percent for the year. Some analysts argue that this success rests on shaky ground.

"I've never seen a rally that has been so hated and mistrusted before," said Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management. "People ask me, 'Why is the stock market up? When should I bail out before the next crash?'"

ON SALE: RadioShack's stock fell 18 cents, or 11 percent, to $1.37 after the retailer posted a deeper loss than analysts had expected. Sales also slumped.

BUY BACK: MetLife Inc.'s stock rose 30 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $54.94 after the insurer said it plans to buy its own shares for the first time in about six years, with the goal of spending up to $1 billion on its own stock.

ECONOMIC NEWS: The government reported Tuesday that wholesalers added to their stockpiles of goods in April, a move which suggests they anticipate stronger growth. A separate report said that the number of job openings climbed to 4.5 million in April, the highest figure since September 2007. The increase could be a signal that companies will add workers to payrolls in the months ahead.

"The labor market recovery looks for real," Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, wrote in a note to clients. "The economy is better than you think."

Shut Up, They Explain
John Stossel

FOREVER YOUNG: Botox maker Allergan rejected a buyout offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management, saying the $53 billion bid undervalues the company and creates too much risk. After rising to $165.48 in the morning, Allergan's stock went into reverse and was down 97 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $163.18.

TWO CENTS: Best Buy said that it's going to raise its quarterly dividend by two cents to 19 cents per share. The move comes a month after the retailer reported its highest quarterly profit in more than three years. Best Buy's stock rose 64 cents, or 2 percent, to $29.44.

EUROPE: The region's major stock indexes made slight moves. Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent, while France's CAC-40 rose 0.1 percent. In the U.K., the FTSE 100 index ended flat.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury inched up to 2.64 percent from 2.61 percent late Monday. Yields rise when bond prices fall. The price of oil fell 6 cents to settle at $104.35 a barrel.