Stocks, en­ergy prices dip

Euro­pean stocks fall af­ter re­port that Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank will cut back on stim­u­lus pro­grams.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Marley Jay

U.S. stocks fin­ished barely lower Fri­day as en­ergy com­pa­nies fell with oil prices and a 10-day rally for tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies came to an end. But Wall Street mostly avoided the sharp losses that hit Euro­pean stocks.

The price of U.S. crude oil fell 2.5 per­cent and pulled en­ergy stocks lower. Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies slipped, end­ing their long­est win­ning streak in more than two years.

In­vestors bought gov­ern­ment bonds in the U.S. and Europe, which sent prices higher and yields lower. With yields down, in­vestors who wanted in­come bought shares in com­pa­nies that pay big div­i­dends, such as util­i­ties and house­hold goods mak­ers.

Euro­pean stocks took sharp losses af­ter Reuters re­ported that the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank will con­sider par­ing back its stim­u­lus pro­grams in late Oc­to­ber. In­dexes in France, Ger­many and Italy all fell, and so did the blue chip Euro Stoxx 50 in­dex.

“Europe is the econ­omy that makes peo­ple the most ner­vous,” said JJ Ki­na­han, chief mar­ket strate­gist at TD Amer­i­trade. “It’s one that is still be­ing treated with cau­tion.”

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex shipped 0.91 of a point to 2,472.54. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age dipped 31.71 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 21,580.07. Ear­lier it shed as many as 108 points. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite lost 2.25 points to 6,387.75. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks sank 6.52 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 1,435.84. Still, all four in­dexes re­main near record highs.

Gen­eral Elec­tric skid­ded af­ter it dis­ap­pointed in­vestors by say­ing it ex­pects to reach only the low end of its an­nual profit forecast range. GE said its power unit strug­gled in the sec­ond quar­ter and low oil prices are also hurt­ing its busi­ness.

The stock fell 78 cents, or 2.9 per­cent, to $25.91. It’s down 18 per­cent this year. Also fall­ing was oil­field ser­vices com­pany Baker Hughes, which is com­bined with GE’s oil and gas unit this month and is now mostly owned by GE. It shed 85 cents, or 2.4 per­cent, to $34.12.

Baker Hughes was one of a horde of en­ergy com­pa­nies that fell with oil prices. Bench­mark U.S. crude lost $1.15 to $45.77 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, the stan­dard for in­ter­na­tional oil prices, shed $1.24, or 2.5 per­cent, to $48.06 a bar­rel in Lon­don.

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