NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are falling Wednesday morning after a weak finish the day before, and energy and industrial companies are taking some of the worst losses. Investors are concerned about the European economy after a measure of business activity fell to an 18-month low in May. Target is sliding after big investments in its operations cut into its first-quarter profit while jewelry company Tiffany is climbing after a strong report.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index shed 10 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,713 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 101 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 24,733 as industrial companies 3M and Caterpillar both fell about 1 per cent. The Nasdaq composite gave up 28 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7,349. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks edged up 1 point to 1,626.
Stocks were higher for most of the Tuesday but slipped late in the day.
EUROPE’S ECONOMY: A survey suggested that the eurozone’s economy might remain weak for longer than experts had expected. IHS Markit’s purchasing managers’ index, a broad gauge of business activity, fell to an 18-month low in May. The regional economy is still growing, but investors hoped to see a rebound after the first quarter of the year.
Germany’s DAX gave up 1.6 per cent and France’s CAC 40 fell 1.3 per cent while the British FTSE 100 lost 0.7 per cent.
BONDS: Bond prices climbed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.02 per cent from 3.06 per cent. With interest rates in decline, banks lost ground. Citigroup fell 1 per cent to $70.40 and Bank of American lost 0.7 per cent to $30.69.
Banks climbed Tuesday as Congress prepared to vote on a bill that eased some of the regulations passed after the 2008 financial crisis. The legislation passed the House Tuesday evening and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law.
RETAIL DETAILS: Target slumped after its first-quarter profit fell short of expectations. The big box retailer said more customers came to its stores and sales improved, but it’s spending a lot of money to try to reinvent itself to better compete with Amazon. Target plans to spend $7 billion through 2020 to update stores and open smaller locations in urban markets. The stock sank 5.1 per cent to $71.56.
Tiffany sparkled in the first quarter as the jewelry company’s earnings and sales blew past Wall Street projections. The company also said it’s planning to buy back $1 billion in its own stock. The stock jumped 14.4 per cent to $116.95.
Home improvement retailer Lowe’s had a mostly disappointing first quarter as harsh winter weather cut into the traditional spring sales season, but the company forecast stronger sales growth for the rest of the year and more than recovered its losses from the day before. The stock surged 7.3 per cent to $91.98.
Apparel retailer Urban Outfitters also climbed 2.7 per cent to $42.31 following its report.
CABLE HOOKUP: Comcast said it is preparing an all-cash offer for Twenty-First Century Fox’s entertainment and international divisions, and said it plans to bid more than the $52.4 billionDisney offered. Comcast didn’t disclose other details about its plans. Fox rose 0.6 per cent to $38.41 while Comcast fell 2 per cent to $31.86, and Disney slid 1.3 per cent to $102.70.
Buying those Fox businesses would help Disney compete with technology companies in the entertainment business. Any tie-up would put in its stable more Marvel superheros, as well as the studios that produced the Avatar movies, “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.”
NOT WELL DONE: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers tumbled after the company’s quarterly profit was much smaller than analysts anticipated. Its sales also fell short of estimates and the stock tumbled 17.5 per cent to $47.80.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 0.4 per cent to $71.93 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 0.6 per cent to $79.06 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar dropped to 110.10 yen from 111.02 yen. The euro fell to $1.1717 from $1.1779.
ASIA: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1.2 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.3 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.8 per cent.
This article provided by NewsEdge.