Financial Markets Snap IPO

US stock indexes veer lower in morning trading; Oil falls

March 2, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stocks lower in morning trading Thursday as the market gave up some gains from its latest record-high close a day earlier. Technology and materials stocks were also among the biggest decliners. Utilities bucked the broader market slide. Investors were sizing up the latest batch of company earnings.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,072 as of 11:13 a.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,385. The Nasdaq composite index slid 30 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,873. The stock market was coming off its biggest single-day gain in nearly four months.

THE QUOTE: “Equities have come a long way year-to-date and have been on a pace that’s unsustainable,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “We’re due for a little bit of a pullback.”

OH, SNAP: The parent company of the messaging app Snapchat soared 45 percent in its stock market debut. Snap’s stock surged to $25.50 in the first few minutes of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, far above its opening price of $17.

UNAPPETIZING OUTLOOK: Kroger slid 3.3 percent after the supermarket operator said business conditions in the first half of 2017 will remain difficult due to low food prices. The stock fell $1.07 to $30.99.

SHAKEN UP: Shake Shack was down 2.4 percent after the restaurant chain’s sales at established locations and its revenue outlook fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts. Its shares lost 85 cents to $35.27.

SAD ENDING: Barnes & Noble tumbled 8.8 percent after the book seller reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales of its Nook e-book reader. The company also said business worsened in late January and into the current quarter and forecast a bigger decline in sales at established locations. Its shares slid 87 cents to $9.03.

ENERGIZED: Monster Beverage jumped 13.7 percent after the company’s latest quarterly earnings and revenue exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, climbing $5.74 to $47.75.

FASHIONABLE RESULTS: Abercrombie & Fitch vaulted 13.4 percent after the clothing company said its Hollister brand did well in its most recent quarter. The stock added $1.58 to $13.27.

FED IN FOCUS: Several Federal Reserve officials, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, are scheduled to speak this week ahead of their next policy meeting later this month. Earlier this week, New York Fed President William Dudley said the case for raising interest rates had gotten stronger. That’s helped fuel speculation that the central bank will raise interest rates again this month.

“While it’s plausible the Fed lets the U.S. economy run hot before acting, the economic backdrop, in our view, warrants a Fed hike in March,” said Sandven. “In a slow-growth, improving environment we think that’s favorable for equities.”

JOBLESS CLAIMS: The Labor Department said unemployment benefit claims dropped last week to 223,000, the lowest level since March 1973. The four-week average, which is less volatile, fell to 234,250, lowest since April 1973. Overall, 2.07 million Americans are collecting unemployment benefits, down more than 7 percent from a year ago.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was down 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 was 0.1 percent higher. Britain’s FTSE 100 was flat. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 stock index rose 0.9 percent, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong added 0.5 percent. The Kospi in South Korea climbed 0.7 percent.

OIL: The price of U.S. crude fell 84 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $52.99 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 65 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $55.71 a barrel.

TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.49 percent from 2.46 percent late Wednesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 114.31 yen from 113.71 yen on Wednesday. The euro weakened to $1.0523 from $1.0544.

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ALEX VEIGA, AP Business Writer