VOL. 42 | NO. 24 | Friday, June 15, 2018
US stocks recovery from sharp early drop and finish mixed
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks shrugged off early losses and wound up with a mixed finish Monday. Household goods companies took some of the worst losses as the S&P 500 index fell for the third time in four days.
The S&P 500 dropped as much as 22 points early on. Consumer products and packaged foods companies stumbled and drug makers and distributors fell, as did health insurers. That came after indexes in Europe and Asia fell. German stocks took steep losses as investors wondered if a dispute over migrants could eventually threaten the German government.
But stocks gradually recovered most of their losses as energy companies rose along with oil prices and technology companies managed to make some gains as well. Smaller and more U.S.-focused companies climbed higher. That continued a pattern that has persisted for more than three months.
It's been a turbulent few months for stocks, but the benchmark S&P 500 is a bit higher than it was when international trade tensions started to weigh on the market in late February. Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said it's a good sign that some sectors that have struggled are now doing better.
"It's indicative of a market that's unconvinced that a trade war will develop," he said. Still, he said the next month of trading could be choppy as investors analyze the latest trade developments and wait for companies to start reporting their second-quarter results in mid-July.
The S&P 500 fell 5.79 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,773.87. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 103.01 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,987.47. The Nasdaq composite edged up 0.65 points to 7,747.03.
The Russell 2000 index rose 8.55 points, or 0.5 percent, to a record 1,692.46. Many investors feel the smaller and more U.S.-focused companies in that index are less vulnerable in the event that a major trade dispute slows growth in the global economy. Most of the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange closed higher.
Drugmaker Biogen suffered the biggest fall of any S&P 500 company following positive clinical trial results form a competitor. PTC Therapeutics jumped 27.5 percent to $47.88 after its report from an early study of a drug intended to treat Type 1 spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects infants. PTC's drug could affect sales of Biogen's Spinraza, and Biogen lost 5.2 percent to $289.12. Its partner Ionis Pharmaceuticals sank 6.4 percent to $43.61
Volkswagen slumped after German authorities detained Rupert Stadler, the CEO of its Audi division, in an extension of the emissions scandal that has rocked Volkswagen since 2015. That scandal has led to billions in fines, the arrest of executives and the indictment in the U.S. of its former CEO. Volkswagen stock fell 3.1 percent in Germany.
The German DAX fell 1.4 percent, and all 30 stocks on the index ended with losses. The CAC 40 in France lost 0.9 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 fell less than 0.1 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.8 percent while South Korea's Kospi lost 1.2 percent.
On Saturday the Trump administration launched an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on automobiles imported to the U.S. as talks with Canada and Mexico over the North American Trade Agreement stalled. A day earlier, President Donald Trump said the U.S. will put tariffs of up to 25 percent on some Chinese imports starting in July. Those tariffs target industrial and agricultural machinery, aerospace parts and communications technology. China said it will raise import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey.
Alphabet, Google's parent company, rose after it agreed to invest $550 million in Chinese e-commerce company JD.com. Alphabet picked up 2.1 percent to $1,183.58 while JD.com rose 0.4 percent to $43.76.
Rent-A-Center jumped 22 percent to $14.68 after private equity firm Vintage Capital Management agreed to buy it for $15 a share, or $800 million. Rent-A-Center leases household goods on a rent-to-own basis. Clothing company Perry Ellis lost 2.7 percent to $27.22 after founder George Feldenkreis started buying more stock to take the company private in a deal worth $27.50 a share, or $437 million.
Oil futures rose as investors wait for an OPEC meeting later this week. Benchmark U.S. crude added 1.2 percent to $65.85 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, climbed 2.6 percent to $75.34 a barrel in London.
Chevron gained 1.6 percent to $125.97 and ConocoPhillips rose 1.9 percent to $66.60.
Wholesale gasoline rose 1.6 percent to $2.05 a gallon. Heating oil gained 2.1 percent to $2.13 a gallon. Natural gas fell 2.3 percent to $2.95 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note stayed at 2.92 percent.
Gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,280.10 an ounce. Silver dipped 0.2 percent to $16.44 an ounce. Copper lost 1.2 percent to $3.11 a pound.
The dollar fell to 110.44 yen from 110.62 yen late Friday. The euro inched up to $1.1615 from $1.1607.
Markets in Hong Kong were closed for the Duanwu Festival commemorating the death of Qu Yuan, an ancient Chinese poet and minister.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay