Stocks tumble as banks, industrials take broad losses

AP News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2017 1:38 PM
Stocks tumble as banks, industrials take broad losses

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are on track for their biggest loss this year as banks tumble and industrial companies such as transportation stocks take large losses. Small-company stocks are falling more than the rest of the market.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index tumbled 24 points, or 1 percent, to 2,349 as of 1:37 p.m. Eastern time. It hasn't taken a loss that large since October. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 190 points, or 0.9 percent, to 20,710. The Nasdaq composite surrendered 83 points, or 1.4 percent, to 5,818. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks plunged 29 points, or 2.1 percent, to 1,354. Three-quarters of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange fell.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined to 2.43 percent from 2.46 percent. Lower interest rates hurt banks by reducing interest rates, which shrinks the profits financial institutions make on mortgages and other loans. Capital One shed $3.02, or 3.5 percent, to $83.76 and Bank of America fell $1.37, or 5.6 percent, to $23.07. Banks have climbed dramatically over the last five months.

Big-dividend companies did relatively well. Utilities moved higher. Dominion Resources rose $1.24, or 1.6 percent, to $77.83 and PPL gained 45 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $37.24. Some real estate companies also rose. American Tower climbed $1.26, or 1.1 percent, to $117.24.

HIT THE BRAKES: Transportation companies like airlines, railroads and rental car companies plunged. United Continental lost $1.51, or 2.2 percent, to $65.98 and railroad operator CSX declined $1.32, or 2.8 percent, to $45.56. Hertz Global skidded $2.21, or 10.4 percent, to $19.05. Steel makers also slid. AK Steel plunged 70 cents, or 8.5 percent, to $7.57 and U.S. Steel lost $2.52, or 6.8 percent, to $34.58.

THE QUOTE: Kate Warne, an investment strategist for Edward Jones, said investors are taking some profits after the market's long winning streak, and they are waiting for more information about the Trump administration's plans. This week Congress is debating the Republican-backed American Health Care Act and its chances of passing are not clear.

"Some of the concerns about how long it will take to implement some of the policy changes are probably resurging in investors' minds," Warne said, adding that if the bill doesn't pass, "the concern is what that means for corporate tax cuts."

RETAIL WOES: Department store operator Kohl's dropped $1.30, or 3.4 percent, to $37.26 and Macy's gave up $1.28, or 4.4 percent, to $28.09. Gap fell 93 cents, or 4 percent, to $22.53 and athletic apparel company Under Armour lost 79 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $17.47.

SOGGY CEREAL: Food companies fell after General Mills posted a better-than-expected profit but weaker sales. The Cheerios maker faces more competitive pricing and a market that has been shifting demand from processed foods. Its stock dipped 24 cents to $60.02, and Kellogg shed $1.19, or 1.6 percent, to $73.79 cents. Campbell Soup gave up $1.78, or 3 percent, to $57.22.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 68 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $47.54 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 51 cents, or 1 percent, to $51.11 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 111.87 yen from 112.58 yen. The euro rose to $1.0814 from $1.0733.

OVERSEAS: The DAX of Germany fell 1.1 percent and the British FTSE 100 lost 0.6 percent. France's CAC 40 made big early gains after a debate between the nation's candidates for president, but it finished 0.5 percent lower. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.3 percent. The Kospi in South Korea rose 1 percent and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed to this report. He can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP

His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay