Take a breath: Stocks slow down after a record-setting run

AP News
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Posted: Feb 16, 2017 11:23 AM
Take a breath: Stocks slow down after a record-setting run

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks around the world pulled back Thursday following a record-setting run that marked the longest winning streak in over 3 years for the S&P 500 index. U.S. stock indexes receded from their latest all-time highs reached a day earlier. The dollar's value fell against rival currencies, and Treasury yields fell as bond prices rose.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,339 as of 11:12 a.m. Eastern time. A day earlier, it again set a record high after rising for the seventh straight day, its longest winning streak in three and a half years.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 47 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,566. The Nasdaq composite gave back 22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,799. Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

NO VACATION: TripAdvisor fell to the worst loss in the S&P 500 after reporting weaker revenue and earnings than Wall Street had forecast. It dropped $3.33, or 6.3 percent, to $49.37.

TECH GAINS: Technology stocks rose following encouraging earnings reports. Cisco Systems gained 85 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $33.67. NetApp, a data storage company, jumped $1.57, or 5 percent, to $40.50. Both were among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500 after reporting bigger profits for their latest quarter than analysts expected.

CYCLING HIGHER: Stericycle jumped to the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after the medical waste company reported stronger-than-expected earnings and revenue for its latest quarter. The stock rose $6.66, or 8.6 percent, to $84.05.

YIELDS: Treasury yields pulled back, giving back some of their increase from the prior day. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.44 percent from 2.50 percent late Wednesday. The two-year Treasury yield fell to 1.20 percent from 1.25 percent, and the 30-year yield fell to 3.04 percent from 3.08 percent.

DIVIDEND DEMAND: Lower bond yields make big-dividend payers more attractive to income investors, and the biggest payers gained. Real-estate investment trusts rose 0.6 percent, most among the 11 sectors in the S&P 500. Utilities, which are also big dividend payers, rose 0.5 percent.

AROUND THE WORLD: Markets around the world also slowed. In Europe, the French CAC 40 fell 0.5 percent, the German DAX index fell 0.4 percent and the U.K. FTSE 100 also slipped 0.4 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.5 percent, the South Korean Kospi dipped 0.1 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.5 percent.

ECONOMIC UPDATES: Homebuilders broke ground on fewer projects last month than in December, but the figures were a bit better than economists had forecast. A measure of manufacturing in the Philadelphia region suggested that growth is improving, and that figure also beat estimates.

The reports followed two big ones on Wednesday, which showed that rising optimism among shoppers may be translating into increased spending and that inflation is on the rise. Strong signs on the economy such as those could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner or more quickly than investors had thought.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 30 cents to $52.83 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 47 cents to $55.28 a barrel. Natural gas fell 6 cents to $2.86 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $9.80 to $1,242.90 per ounce, silver rose 14 cents to $18.11 per ounce and copper fell 3 cents to $2.71 per pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 113.19 yen from 114.26 late Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.0674 from $1.0591, and the British pound rose to $1.2498 from $1.2445.