Markets Right Now: Health care stocks lead US indexes lower

AP News
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Posted: Dec 21, 2016 4:07 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

4:00 p.m.

Stocks are closing slightly lower on Wall Street, led by declines in health care companies.

The modest declines Wednesday kept the Dow Jones industrial average slightly below the 20,000 mark. Merck and Pfizer had the biggest losses in the Dow.

FedEx fell 3 percent after reporting earnings that fell short of Wall Street's forecast as expenses rose.

Energy companies rose. Halliburton gained 3 percent.

The price of natural gas jumped 9 percent on expectations that colder weather will lead to more demand for home heating.

The Dow slipped 32 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,941.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 5 points, or 0.3 percent, at 2,265. The Nasdaq composite fell 12 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,471.

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11:45 a.m.

Stocks are moving slightly lower as the Dow Jones industrial average remains just short of the 20,000-point mark.

Bank stocks fell more than the rest of the market Wednesday. Goldman Sachs fell 1 percent.

Energy companies rose. Chevron gained 1 percent.

FedEx's fell 2.5 percent after reporting earnings that fell fell short of Wall Street's forecast as expenses rose.

The Dow slipped 19 points, or 0.1 percent, to 19,955. It closed at a record high of 19,974 on Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 2 points, or 0.1 percent, at 2,268. The Nasdaq composite fell 10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,472.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks are opening slightly lower as the Dow Jones industrial average remains just short of the 20,000-point mark.

Bank stocks are taking some of the largest losses Wednesday morning. Financial firm Northern Trust lost 1 percent.

Energy companies rose as the price of oil inched up 0.3 percent. EQT Corp. jumped 2.2 percent.

Athletic apparel maker Nike is up 1.5 percent after its second-quarter profit and sales topped analyst estimates.

Shipping company FedEx's earnings fell short of Wall Street forecast as its expenses rose. Its stock is down 1.9 percent.

The Dow average slipped 9 points to 19,965. It closed at a record high of 19,974 on Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 2 points at 2,268. The Nasdaq composite fell 6 points to 5,476.