Stocks Edge Lower as Tech Shares Drop; Nike Jumps

In this Sept. 18, 2019, file photo a stock trader works at the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 25. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved lower in early trading Wednesday as investors retreated following a highly volatile trading session a day earlier.

Technology stocks were the biggest weights on the market, with especially sharp losses for chipmakers Broadcom and Advanced Micro Devices.

Energy stocks edged lower as crude oil prices sank.

Nike jumped after a stellar earnings report, but most other consumer-oriented companies fell.

Investors cheered news that Altria and Philip Morris abandoned discussions about a merger, which helped lift consumer product makers.

Banks also notched gains as bond yields ticked higher to 1.66% from 1.63% Tuesday.

The mixed bag of trading follows a volatile session on Tuesday as investors digested a weak consumer confidence report, more swings in trade war rhetoric and the start of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26 points, or 0.1%, to 26,834, mostly because of Nike’s gains. The Nasdaq fell 0.5%.

OVERSEAS: Stocks in Europe and Asia broadly fell. Britain’s parliament and Prime Minister Boris Johnson are set to clash Wednesday over the nation’s likely chaotic exit from the European Union. Britain is leaving the trading block on Oct. 31 and has yet to strike a deal with European nations covering trade and other issues.

Indexes in China slumped after Trump claimed in a speech Tuesday that China gets preferential treatment from the World Trade Organization. The rhetoric comes ahead of trade negotiations planned for October. Previous hopes for a resolution to the ongoing feud have been dashed because tensions flared over similar comments.

UP IN SMOKE: Altria rose slightly and Philip Morris rose 6.1% after the tobacco giants called offer merger talks. Altria has exclusively sold Marlboro cigarettes and other tobacco brands in the U.S., while Philip Morris has handled international sales. The companies had been in discussions to combine more than a decade after splitting.

JUST SHOE IT: Nike rose 5.4% after the footwear and athletic apparel maker handily beat fiscal first quarter profit forecasts. The company had a surprisingly strong 27% rise in revenue from China, despite the ongoing trade war with the U.S. Nike and other footwear companies could face lower sales and higher costs because of tariffs and supply chain issues.


By AP reporter Damian J. Troise

Categories: Finance, Today’s Business News, World News