US stocks finish lower in light trading

U.S. stocks closed lower Tuesday following a swift sell-off in the final minutes of a shortened trading session ahead of the Independence Day holiday.

The losses snapped a three-day winning streak for the stock market, wiping out modest gains from earlier in the day.

Technology companies and banks led the market slide, outweighing gains in health care and energy stocks. Gainers slightly outnumbered fallers on the New York Stock Exchange, with small-company stocks faring better than the overall market. Trading volume was lighter than usual going into Wednesday’s U.S. market holiday.

The S&P 500 index fell 13.49 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,713.22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 132.36 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,174.82. The Nasdaq lost 65.01 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,502.67.

Smaller-company stocks bucked the broader market decline. The Russell 2000 index picked up 5.33 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,660.42.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.83 percent from 2.87 percent late Monday.

U.S. markets reopen on Thursday, and investors will have no shortage of reasons to snap out of the holiday lull by the end of the week.

On Friday the U.S. will start imposing a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.

And China is expected to strike back with tariffs on a similar amount of U.S. exports.

“The market might get worked up about a tit-for-tat retaliation, which we’ll probably see,” said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

“There’s a relatively low probability of an all-out trade war.”

Investors will also have their eye Friday on the Labor Department’s latest monthly jobs and wage report.

Analysts expect the report will show that hourly wages rose 2.8 percent last month. But if it comes in above 3 percent, that could be a bad day for the market, Wren said.

“The market is paying very close attention to wage pressure, very close attention to anything that’s going to hurt corporate margins, anything that’s going to make the Fed want to quicken the pace and magnitude of interest rate hikes,” Wren said.

This article provided by NewsEdge.