U.S. stock in­dexes fall, but show gains for year

Home­builders, ba­sic ma­te­ri­als, en­ergy com­pa­nies see de­cline and trad­ing slows as hol­i­day nears.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Alex Veiga

Banks led a broad slide in U.S. stocks Wed­nes­day that more than wiped out gains from the day be­fore.

Af­ter an early up­ward turn, the stock mar­ket veered into the red by mid­morn­ing, the losses ac­cel­er­at­ing as the day wore on. Ba­sic ma­te­ri­als com­pa­nies, in­dus­tri­als, util­i­ties and en­ergy stocks were among the big­gest de­clin­ers.

Trad­ing was light ahead of the New Year’s Day hol­i­day. Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Ex­change.

“Vol­ume is pretty weak, so there’s no ag­gres­sive sell­ing tak­ing place,” said Bob Doll, chief equity strate­gist at Nu­veen As­set Man­age­ment. “It’s more sell­ers lock­ing in some bet­ter gains than they thought they were go­ing to get this year. It’s been a re­ally good year, so let­ting a lit­tle go is just fine.”

The Dow Jones in­dus­trial aver­age fell 111.36 points, or 0.6 per­cent, to 19,833.68. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex lost 18.96 points, or 0.8 per­cent, to 2,249.92. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite, which set a record high close the day be­fore, slid 48.89 points, or 0.9 per­cent, to 5,438.56.

The three ma­jor in­dexes are on pace for a solid gain this year. The Dow is up 13.8 per­cent. The S&P 500 is on track for a 10 per­cent gain, while the Nas­daq is headed for an 8.6 per­cent gain. Small-com­pany stocks are up even more. The Rus­sell 2000 is up 19.8 per­cent so far this year.

In a week fea­tur­ing a dearth of ma­jor eco­nomic or com­pany data, in­vestors got some insight into the U.S. hous­ing mar­ket.

A re­port from the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors found that fewer Amer­i­cans signed con­tracts to buy homes in Novem­ber. The NAR said its sea­son­ally ad­justed pend­ing home sales in­dex fell 2.5 per­cent to 107.3 per­cent, the low­est read­ing since the start of this year.

Home­builder stocks closed mostly lower, with Wil­liam Lyon Homes los­ing the most. It fell 64 cents, or 3.2 per­cent, to $19.33.

Nvidia was the big­gest de­cliner in the S&P 500 in­dex, slid­ing 6.9 per­cent af­ter short seller Citron Re­search said it ex­pects the chip­maker’s shares, which have tripled in value this year, to fall sub­stan­tially. The stock lost $8.07 to $109.25.

Bench­mark U.S. crude rose 16 cents to close at $54.06 a bar­rel in New York. It rose 88 cents on Tues­day. Brent crude, used to price in­ter­na­tional oils, climbed 13 cents to close at $56.22 a bar­rel in Lon­don. It gained 93 cents the day be­fore.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.