Quiet day of trad­ing sees stocks head down

Banks fall, but most sec­tors stay put as big political events loom.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - By Mar­ley Jay Mar­kets

Af­ter an early-af­ter­noon slump, U.S. stocks fin­ished mostly lower Mon­day in a quiet day of trad­ing. Banks fell along with bond yields as stocks de­clined for a third straight day.

Lower bond yields hurt banks be­cause they force in­ter­est rates down on mort­gages and other kinds of loans. Util­ity com­pa­nies gave up some of their re­cent gains.

Most sec­tors didn’t move much on the light­est trad­ing day of the year. Euro­pean mar­kets mostly fell af­ter the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment said it will for­mally be­gin the process of leav­ing the Euro­pean Union next week.

Sameer Samana, a strate­gist for the Wells Fargo In­vest­ment In­sti­tute, said pol­i­tics may keep in­vestors oc­cu­pied for the next few weeks as they wait for elec­tions in France and a Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank meet­ing, both next month, while leg­is­la­tors in the U.S. de­bate the pro­posed Repub­li­can-backed health care law.

“There’s enough events that will keep mar­kets busy,” Samana said. He added that in­vestors want to see tax re­form pro­pos­als be­cause they could boost cor­po­rate prof­its, but those aren’t likely to come un­til the health care bill is dealt with.

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500

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