Stocks fall for 2nd day; oil surges

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - As­so­ci­ated press

A batch of dis­cour­ag­ing eco­nomic news deep­ened in­vestors’ con­cerns about cor­po­rate earn­ings, pulling ma­jor U.S. stock in­dexes down Wed­nes­day for the sec­ond day in a row.

The mod­est slide cut the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex’s gain for the year to less than one-tenth of a per­cent.

Oil prices surged above $50 a bar­rel on signs that U.S. pro­duc­tion growth is slow­ing.

Pay­roll pro­ces­sor ADP said U.S. com­pa­nies added fewer jobs last month than econ­o­mists had ex­pected and an in­dex of man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­ity de­clined for the fifth month in a row. In ad­di­tion, the gov­ern­ment said con­struc­tion spend­ing fell in Fe­bru­ary.

“The data show we def­i­nitely hit a bit of a slow­down in the first quar­ter, and now in­vestors are get­ting wor­ried about the up­com­ing earn­ings re­ports,” said Chris Gaffney, a se­nior mar­ket strate­gist at EverBank Wealth Man­age­ment.

Many of the stocks that fell the most Wed­nes­day were also some of the big­gest gain­ers dur­ing the first three months of the year. The health­care sec­tor notched the big­gest decline in the S&P 500. Even so, it’s up 4.8% this year, lead­ing the nine other sec­tors in the in­dex.

“We’ve had a long, good run by the eq­uity mar­kets and, at times, in­vestors look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to maybe take some gains off the ta­ble,” Gaffney said.

The Dow Jones industrial av­er­age fell 77.94 points, or 0.4%, to 17,698.18. The 30com­pany in­dex was down as much as 191 points. It’s down 0.7% for the year.

The S&P 500 dropped 8.16 points, or 0.4%, to 2,059.69. The in­dex is now up 0.04% for the year.

The Nas­daq com­pos­ite lost 20.66 points, or 0.4%, to 4,880.23. The tech-heavy in­dex ended is up about 3% this year.

Half of the 10 sec­tors in the S&P 500 fell. Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices led among gain­ers, ris­ing 0.8%.

Mac­erich fell the most in the in­dex, slid­ing $5.60, or 6.6%, to $78.73. It slumped af­ter ri­val Simon Prop­erty Group called off its hos­tile $16.8-bil­lion takeover bid for the shop­ping mall op­er­a­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.