Slide led by banks weighs on US stocks, losing streak grows
Trader Edward McCarthy work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. U.S. stocks veered broadly lower in early trading Monday as losses in health care companies and banks outweighed gains elsewhere. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Banks led a broad slide in U.S. stocks late Monday afternoon, placing the market on course for a four-day losing streak. Energy and health care stocks also helped pull the market lower, outweighing gains by technology and consumer-focused stocks. The losses came as traders geared up for a busy week of company earnings reports that should help answer whether Corporate America is being squeezed by rising interest rates and global trade disputes.
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KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,765 as of 3:13 p.m. Eastern Time. The index is on course for its worst month in more than three years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 34 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,410. The average was briefly down more than 200 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq recovered from an early tumble, gaining 49 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,498. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 2 point, or 0.2 percent, to 1,539.
EARNINGS SEASON: Investors have been worried in recent weeks about potential threats to corporate growth, including rising interest rates, trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and some sluggish reports about housing construction and sales.
This week marks the peak of the quarterly earnings calendar as many big-name companies report their latest results, including Caterpillar, Amazon and Google's parent company, Alphabet.
"The earnings results have the potential to stabilize the market, but what investors are really keen on hearing from companies is what the sustainability of the earnings outlook is, especially in light of the concerns of the potential impact from tariffs," said Laura Kane, head of Investment Themes Americas at UBS Wealth Management Research.
FINANCIALS SLIDE: Banks and other financial companies took losses. Synchrony Financial fell 5.4 percent to $29.67.
BROKEN TOYS: Hasbro slid 2.8 percent to $95.32 after the toy maker reported disappointing third-quarter results, partly due to lost sales following the demise of Toys R Us. Hasbro also said it will cut jobs as it deals with the effects of Toys R Us bankruptcy. Rival Mattel also declined, shedding 0.2 percent to $14.19.
COSTLY DELAY: Bristol-Myers Squibb declined 6.3 percent to $50.87 after the drugmaker said regulators want three more months to review data from a potential lung cancer treatment regimen.
TECH BOUNCE: After a sluggish start, technology stocks rebounded in morning trading. Advanced Micro Devices climbed 6.5 percent to $25.19.
GOOD CHEMISTRY: Jacobs Engineering Group climbed 6.9 percent to $77.25 after the company agreed to sell its chemicals and resources business to WorleyParsons of Australia for $3.3 billion in cash and stock.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude recovered from an early skid. It gained 0.1 percent to settle at $69.17 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.1 percent to close at $79.83 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 0.4 percent to $1.91 a gallon. Heating oil rose 0.7 percent to $2.32 a gallon. Natural gas slid 3.4 percent to $3.14 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Despite the broad pickup in oil prices, most energy sector stocks took losses. Newfield Exploration fell 3.6 percent to $22.76.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held at 3.19 percent.
METALS: Gold dipped 0.3 percent to $1,224.60 an ounce. Silver fell 0.4 percent to $14.59 an ounce. Copper gained 0.3 percent to $2.79 a pound.
CURRENCY: The dollar strengthened to 112.81 yen from 112.60 yen on Friday. The euro fell to $1.1469 from $1.1510.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX slipped 0.3 percent and France's CAC-40 lost 0.6 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent. In Asia, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong surged 2.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index reversed early losses, gaining 0.4 percent. The Kospi in South Korea added 0.3 percent. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 countered the trend, shedding 0.6 percent. Shares rose in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia, but fell in Thailand.
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