Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS -

in­dex lost 4.78 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 2,373.47. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age slipped 8.76 points to 20,905.86. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite rose 0.53 points to 5,901.53. The Rus­sell 2000 of small-com­pany stocks fell 7.43 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 1,384.10.

The stock market has mostly been quiet this month. Its two big moves were both linked to the Fed­eral Re­serve: on March 1 stocks jumped af­ter the cen­tral bank sig­naled it would raise rates, and they climbed last Wed­nes­day af­ter the Fed made it clear it will move slowly for the rest of the year.

Bri­tain’s gov­ern­ment said it will trig­ger the process of leav­ing the EU on March 29. That will start a long ne­go­ti­a­tion be­tween Bri­tain and the EU, with un­cer­tain ef­fects for banks and other com­pa­nies that do busi­ness across bor­ders. Bri­tain is ex­pected to of­fi­cially leave the union in 2019.

Bond prices rose, send­ing yields to their low­est in three weeks. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note fell to 2.46 per­cent from 2.5 per­cent.

Wells Fargo fell $1.04, or 1.8 per­cent, to $57.63 and Syn­chrony Fi­nan­cial gave up 92 cents, or 2.6 per­cent, to $34.20.

The Bri­tish pound slipped to $1.2350 from $1.2396 late Fri­day, and it’s down about 20 per­cent since Bri­tain voted to leave the EU in late June. The dol­lar de­clined to 112.58 yen from 112.70 yen. The euro fell to $1.0733 from $1.0743.

Bench­mark U.S. crude de­clined 56 cents, or 1.1 per­cent, to $48.22 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, lost 14 cents to $51.62 a bar­rel in London.

Do­min­ion Di­a­mond climbed $2.28, or 23 per­cent, to $12.20 af­ter Washington Cos. went pub­lic with an of­fer to buy the di­a­mond min­ing com­pany for $13.50 per share, or about $1.1 bil­lion.

Nek­tar Ther­a­peu­tics soared af­ter the com­pany said an ex­per­i­men­tal pain drug met its goals in a lat­estage study. Its NKTR-181 is an opi­oid drug de­signed to re­lieve pain with­out caus­ing euphoria, which the com­pany said can con­trib­ute to drug abuse and ad­dic­tion. It stud­ied NKTR-181 as a treat­ment for lower back pain. Nek­tar stock rose $6.71, or 43.3 per­cent, to $22.21.

Gold rose $3.80 to $1,234 an ounce. Sil­ver picked up 3 cents to $17.44 an ounce.

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