Stocks back off from highs

Los Angeles Times - - TECHNOLOGY - As­so­ci­ated press

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.

Source: AP

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