U.S. stocks are lower in Wednesday morning trading as falling interest rates continue to put pressure on banks, and technology and energy companies also move lower. For the second day in a row, investors are buying relatively safe, high-dividend stocks and selling companies that have strong links to economic growth. That’s a small reversal of the pattern that has played out since Donald Trump was elected president one year ago.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,587 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 32 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,524. The Nasdaq composite gave up 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,763. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slid 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,474.
The S&P 500 has jumped 21 percent since Nov. 8, 2016, the day Trump was elected. That’s a better one-year result than the same period after most recent presidential elections, although it trails the gains the market made in the year after Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012. Technology companies have led the way with a 39-percent surge and banks and other financial companies are up 32 percent. Industrial and basic materials companies have also soared as investors have bet on economic growth in the U.S. and the improving global economy.
BONDS: Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.31 percent from 2.32 percent. Yields reached a seven-month high in late October buy have slipped steadily since then, as investors expected rates to rise a bit more slowly. One reason for that is the nomination of Jay Powell as next Federal Reserve chair. Powell is expected to take a similar approach to current Fed Chair Janet Yellen and raise rates at a gradual clip. Some of the other candidates for the job were expected to take a more aggressive approach and raise rates faster.
Bank of America fell 37 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $26.81 and Citizens Financial shed 45 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $37.22.
SNAP SNAPPED: Social media site Snap tumbled after the company reported weak user growth and revenue in its latest quarter as it faces intense competition from Facebook’s Instagram and WhatsApp, among others. Snap lost more than $440 million in its latest quarter. The stock dropped $1.84, or 12.2 percent, to $13.28. It was on track for even larger losses before the company disclosed an investment from Chinese internet company Tencent. The WeChat messaging app owner bought a 10 percent stake in Snap.
ON HOLD?: Time Warner Cable slumped after AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said it’s “uncertain” when AT&T will be able to finish buying the company. AT&T had expected to complete the deal by the end of the year. Stephens said AT&T is still in talks with the Justice Department about getting the $85 billion purchase approved. Time Warner Cable slid $2.72, or 2.9 percent, to $91.94 and AT&T lost 5 cents to $33.03.
TECH PAUSE: Technology companies slipped in early trading. Payments processor Global Payments gave up $2.38, or 2.3 percent, to $101.52 after the company’s quarterly report, and IT service company CSRA retreated $2.11, or 6.6 percent, to $29.62. Technology companies are near record highs after a strong performance all year.
Take-Two Interactive bucked the trend and jumped $11.92, or 11.2 percent, to $118.31. The “Grand Theft Auto” and “NBA2K” publisher’s revenue blew past estimates in the second quarter
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude declined 32 cents to $56.88 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 41 cents to $63.28 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 113.53 yen from 113.87 yen. The euro rose to $1.1597 from $1.1589.
OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX fell 0.1 percent and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.2 percent. The FTSE 100 index in Britain shed 0.1 percent.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 index shed 0.1 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 0.3 percent. The Kospi in South Korea advanced 0.3 percent.