NEW YORK/March 17, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) US Stocks — US stock indexes were listless Friday, making only small moves for the second straight day. Drops for banks and health care stocks offset gains for dividend-paying stocks.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is still on track to deliver its seventh week of gains in the last eight, following a big rally earlier in the week sparked by the Federal Reserve’s announcement on interest rates.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 dipped 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,378, as of 11:35 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,912. The Nasdaq composite lost 7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,893. Slightly more stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Exchange.
Despite its modest moves Thursday and Friday, the S&P 500 is still on pace to deliver another winning week. It jumped on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve gave a more measured forecast for interest-rate increases than some investors expected. While raising rates by a quarter of a percentage point, the central bank said that it’s still planning a total of three increases this year. That surprised some investors, who had begun to expect four hikes given the recent pickup in the economy and inflation.
YIELDS: Treasury yields dipped, resuming a slide that began after the Fed’s announcement. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.49 percent from 2.54 percent late Thursday. The two-year yield dipped to 1.30 per cent from 1.34 percent, and the 30-year yield sank to 3.11 percent from 3.15 percent.
HEALTH CARE, FINANCIAL STOCKS SINK: Amgen had the biggest loss in the S&P 500 after results from a study of its cholesterol drug Repatha disappointed investors. It sank $12.49, or 6.9 percent, to $167.62. It helped drag down health care stocks in the S&P 500 overall by 0.4 percent.
Financial stocks were the weakest in the index, falling 1.1 percent. They have tended to move in the same direction as bond yields recently because higher rates would allow banks to charge more for loans and earn bigger profits.
DIVIDEND PAYERS RISE: When bond yields drop, it makes the income provided by dividend-paying stocks more attractive. Utility stocks in the S&P 500, which pay some of the biggest dividends in the index, rose 0.6 percent. Real-estate investment trusts, another go-to investment for income seekers, rose 0.2 percent.
BIGGEST WINNER: Adobe surged to the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after reporting stronger revenue and earnings for its latest quarter than analysts expected. It jumped $6.58, or 5.4 percent, to $128.93.
SPARKLE SPARKLE: Jeweler Tiffany jumped $2.66, or 3 percent, to $92.64 after reporting better profit than analysts expected for its latest quarter. Strong demand in China and Japan helped it to offset flagging sales at home.
MARKETS ABROAD: France’s CAC 40, Germany’s DAX index and the FTSE 100 in London were all close to flat. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7 percent and the Hang Seng in Hon Kong added 0.1 percent.
G-20 POWWOW: Finance leaders from the G-20 industrial and emerging economies are meeting Friday and Saturday in the southern German resort town of Baden-Baden. The first G-20 finance meeting since tough-talking Donald Trump was elected president is likely to focus on concerns over protectionism and currencies.
COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 6 cents to $48.69 per barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell 8 cents to $51.66 a barrel. Natural gas rose 4 cents to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold rose $3.30 to $1,230.40 per ounce. Silver added 4 cents to $17.37, and copper rose 2 cents to $2.69 per pound.
CURRENCIES: The euro edged down to $1.0734 from $1.0749 late Thursday, and the British pound rose to $1.2364 from $1.2358. The dollar slipped to 112.62 Japanese yen from 113.26 yen.
STAN CHOE, AP Business Writer