Stocks back off from highs
Stocks closed slightly lower Monday, capping a mostly quiet day of U.S. trading that eased the market back from record highs set late last week.
Utilities and materials companies posted some of the biggest losses. Energy stocks led the gainers, even as crude oil prices declined. Technology companies and banks also bucked the downward trend. Google parent Alphabet closed above $1,000 a share for the first time.
The drop snapped a twoday winning streak for stocks, which have been mostly pushing higher this year. The major stock market indexes hit new highs Thursday and Friday.
“Equities are digesting the gains from last week,” said Michael Baele, senior portfolio manager at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management.
Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 slid 8.94 points, or 0.6%, to 1,396.45.
Encouraging economic data, low interest rates, strong consumer confidence and solid company earnings have helped keep investors in a buying mood this year, driving U.S. stocks higher.
Traders had their eye on geopolitical developments, including the terrorist attack in London over the weekend and the decision by members of a Saudi-led coalition to withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar over its support for Islamist groups and its relations with Iran.
Benchmark U.S. crude slid 26 cents, or 0.5%, to $47.40 a barrel in New York. Brent crude fell 48 cents, or 1%, to $49.47 a barrel in London.
The 10-year Treasury yield inched up to 2.18% from 2.19% late Friday.
Investors bid up shares of some technology companies. Google’s parent, Alphabet, which eclipsed the $1,000-a-share threshold for the first time. The search giant’s stock added $7.76, or 0.8%, to $1,003.88.
Herbalife was among the day’s big movers. The Los Angeles-based seller of supplements and weight-loss products slid 6.7% after it lowered its second-quarter revenue and volume projections. The company noted that a switch to new sales tactics is affecting its business in the U.S., and sales in Mexico were weak. The stock lost $4.93 to $68.99.
Several of the major overseas stock indexes closed lower. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3% as investors focused on the fallout from Saturday’s attack in London, which killed seven people.
Gold rose $2.50 to $1,282.70 per ounce. Silver gained 6 cents to $17.58 an ounce and copper lost 2 cents to $2.56 a pound.
The euro fell to $1.1255 from $1.1276 on Friday. The dollar weakened to 110.49 from 110.50 yen.