Stocks Pull Back Slightly After Hitting Record
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved lower in early trading on Wall Street Friday as investors hit the brakes on a fast-moving market that reached a record high a day earlier.
Health care and technology companies led the decline. Chipmakers were among the biggest losers. Micron Technology shed 1.5% and Western Digital lost 1.2%. Biotechnology company AbbVie fell 2.2%.
Companies that make consumer products and industrial companies also fell. Conagra shed 1.9% and Raytheon fell 1.3%.
The broad decline follows a rally on Thursday that pushed the S&P 500 index to a new milestone and eclipsed its last record close on April 30. That surge put the index on track for its third straight weekly gain, which followed four straight weekly losses.
Banks were among the few gainers as long-term bond yields rose, a reversal from the day before. Higher yields allow banks to charge more for loan interest. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup led gains in the financial sector.
Energy stocks also gained ground. Oil prices rose 1% following Thursday’s jump of 5.4%.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.1% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10 points to 26,761. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.2%.
JUNE JUMP: The stock surge on Thursday pushed the broader market closer to its best monthly gains of the year. The S&P 500 is up more than 7%, putting it on pace to top January’s 7.9 % gain.
The monthly gains have already erased a sharp slide in May, when escalations in the U.S. trade war with China prompted investors to flee to safer holdings. Both nations’ leaders have lately signaled a willingness to resolve the dispute and are meeting next week for talks. The Federal Reserve has also signaled that it is willing to cut interest rates to stabilize the U.S. economy if the trade dispute crimps growth.
DRIVING SALES: Used car retailer CarMax rose 4.8% after it blew past Wall Street’s fiscal first quarter profit and revenue forecasts. The company also blew past forecasts for sales at established car lots as more customers purchased used vehicles. That more than offset a decline in prices.
BURSTED BUBBLE: Sealed Air fell 5.1% after the company fired its chief financial officer. The maker of bubble wrap said it terminated William G. Stiehl “for cause” as part of a review related to a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. The SEC is requesting documents and information related to the company’s audit firm selection process.
HIRING FREEZE: Staffing company Korn Ferry plunged 15.8% after reporting weak revenue during its fiscal fourth quarter and issuing a profit forecast that mostly fell short of analysts’ expectations.
By AP reporter Damian J. Troise