Technology companies lead US stocks lower; oil down

FAN Editor

Technology companies pulled U.S. stocks slightly lower in afternoon trading Thursday, placing the market on course to snap a four-day winning streak. Cruise lines, fast-food restaurants and other consumer-focused companies also declined. Health care stocks were among the big gainers. Investors were poring over the latest batch of company earnings. Crude oil prices fell.

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KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,559 as of 2:15 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,142. The Nasdaq composite slid 32 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,591. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,498. The major stock indexes were coming off record highs on Wednesday.

TECHNOLOGY SLUMP: Declines in Apple and other technology companies weighed on the market. Apple gave up $4.33, or 2.7 percent, to $155.43.

PRICE WAR FALLOUT: United Continental sank 11.1 percent after the parent of United Airlines said that weak prices will continue the rest of this year. The stock was down $7.52 to $60.47.

ROUGH SEAS: Cruise line operators were among the biggest decliners. Norwegian Cruise Line slid $3.06, or 5.3 percent, at $54.41. Carnival lost $1.47, or 2.2 percent, to $65.99. Royal Caribbean fell $2.96, or 2.4 percent, to $121.92.

GENUINE DISAPPOINTMENT: Auto parts retailer Genuine Parts slumped 10 percent after the company said costs rose and its quarterly profit fell short of Wall Street’s estimates. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, tumbling $9.79 to $88.25.

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HITTING TURBULENCE: Textron slid 2.8 percent after the Cessna aircraft and Bell helicopter maker said revenue from its aviation business declined last year as deliveries fell. The company also lowered the high end of its profit forecast. The stock lost $1.52 to $52.05.

OVERCOOKED: Blue Apron shares declined after the meal-kit seller said it is cutting about 320 jobs less than four months after it became a public company. The stock dropped 11 cents, or 2 percent, to $5.19.

WELCOME OUTLOOK: Adobe Systems surged 11.7 percent after the software maker issued a strong profit forecast for 2018. The stock was the biggest riser in S&P 500, climbing $17.82 to $170.83.

DIALED IN: Verizon Communications rose 1.8 percent after the company said its wireless unit did well in its latest quarter and gained more mobile phone users than expected. Its shares gained 86 cents to $49.51.

BONDS YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.32 percent from 2.35 percent late Wednesday.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 50 cents, or 1 percent, to $51.54 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 15 cents on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 72 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $57.43 per barrel in London. It gained 27 cents the day before.

METALS: Gold rose $7 to $1,290 an ounce. Silver added 26 cents to $17.26 an ounce. Copper lost 1 cent to $3.17 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.57 yen from 112.90 yen on Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.1837 from $1.1802.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Global stocks were mostly down following the relatively weak Chinese economic growth data and as tensions rose over Catalonia’s bid for independence from Spain. In Europe, Germany’s DAX declined 0.4 percent, while France’s CAC 40 fell 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 0.3 percent. Asian markets finished mostly weaker. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.4 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slumped 1.9 percent.

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