NEW YORK (AP) — Energy companies and oil prices are sinking again Friday morning on reports OPEC countries plan to produce more oil soon. Overall U.S. stocks are slightly lower again as falling bond yields put pressure on banks, even as they help dividend-payers like household goods makers. Gap is tumbling after it had a weak first quarter as its namesake brand continued to struggle.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index slid 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,719 as of 9:52 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 80 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,731. The Nasdaq composite gained 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,429. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,624.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2.8 percent to $68.72 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 2.4 percent to $76.93 a barrel in London. According to multiple reports, countries including Saudi Arabia and Russia want OPEC to produce more oil. The nations agreed to reduce production last year in response to a big buildup in supplies that pushed prices lower but could change their policy at a meeting in June. That could reduce profits for energy companies.
Exxon Mobil fell 1.9 percent to $78.72 and Hess tumbled 4.3 percent to $59.75. The S&P 500 energy index is down 4.5 percent this week. That would be its worst loss in two months.
BONDS: Bond prices kept rising. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.93 percent form 2.98 percent. Bank stocks fell. Bank of America lost 1 percent to $29.90 and Citigroup fell 1.4 percent to $68.37.
RETAIL ROUNDUP: Gap dropped 10.9 percent to $29.36 following a drop in sales for Gap brand stores. Gap has been shifting focus away from the namesake brand because it’s not connecting with shoppers and has struggled to separate itself from rivals. Its Old Navy and Banana Republic brands fared better. Elsewhere, discount retailer Ross Stores gave up 5.9 percent to $78.10.
Foot Locker blew past estimates and said sales of premium shoes continue to improve, which has been a major concern for it and other sporting goods companies. The stock jumped 11.6 percent to $51.76. Rival Hibbett Stores fell 15.1 percent to $24.58 following a disappointing quarterly report.
CHRYSLER WOES: Fiat Chrysler fell 2.6 percent to $21.68 after saying it’s recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. because in rare circumstances drivers may not be able to turn off the cruise control.
The company warned owners not to use cruise control until the cars, SUVs and trucks can be fixed with a software update. Drivers can still stop the cars using the brakes.
CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 109.22 yen from 109.28 yen.
The euro fell to $1.1653 from $1.1727
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX rose 0.3 percent and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 was unchanged. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1 percent and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.6 percent.
By MARLEY JAY , By Associated Press – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC(R.A)