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published on July 18, 2017 - 1:14 PM
Written by Associated Press

(AP) — U.S. stock indexes are mixed Tuesday as banks and energy companies slump. Technology and consumer-focused companies are rising, and streaming video company Netflix is surging after it gained more than 5 million subscribers in the second quarter. Health insurers are slipping after the latest Republican health care overhaul efforts failed in the Senate.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was little changed at 2,459 as of 3:25 p.m. Eastern time, just above the record it set Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 59 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,570. The Nasdaq composite was on track for a record high as it climbed 24 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,339 as technology companies like Facebook and Alphabet, the parent of Google, rose.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,428. The index closed at an all-time high Monday.

Most of the companies on the New York Stock Exchange traded lower.

HEALTHCARE REFORM: The Senate Republican health care bill was defeated Monday night when two more GOP senators announced they opposed it. That prevented the proposal from coming to a vote.

Republican leaders shifted their efforts to repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act without creating a replacement law, but that effort was quickly shut down as well.

Health insurers declined. Humana fell $3.2.94, or 1.2 percent, to $234.62 and Anthem retreated $2.9, or 1.5 percent, to $189.11.

UnitedHealth, the largest company in the industry, inched higher after it reported strong second-quarter results and raised its annual outlook. It gained 59 cents to $186.94.

Drug and biotech companies also mostly traded lower, as did hospital operators.

BIG PICTURE: When Republicans in Congress started trying to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, investors saw it as a test of their ability to work together. If Republicans succeeded, it seemed like they would be able to pass tax cuts and potentially an infrastructure spending bill as well. But as the work dragged on for four months, investors grew less hopeful about other legislation.

“Tax changes aren’t likely to take place any time soon and are likely to be smaller than they hoped,” said Kate Warne, an investment strategist for Edward Jones.

BANKS: Several major banks reported strong second-quarter results, but that wasn’t enough to get investors excited. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs both said their trading businesses struggled, as the market has been calm for months. Banks did very well in the first quarter, and Warne said investors may have been caught off guard that the second quarter doesn’t look as good.

“When they’re not benefiting as much as expected from higher interest rates, I think that makes investors more cautious about what results will look like going forward,” Warne said.

Goldman lost $5.45, or 2.4 percent, to $223.81 and Comerica, which also topped estimates, fell $1.15, or 1.5 percent, to $73.37. Bank of America declined 9 cents to $23.94.

STILL WATCHING: Netflix jumped after the company said it added 5.2 million subscribers over the last three months, and for the first time, it has more subscribers outside the U.S. than in it. The second quarter is usually a slow period for Netflix, so investors were pleased to see the healthy gain. Netflix gained $22.74, or 14.1 percent, to $184.44.

Among other consumer companies, Amazon added $14.95, or 1.5 percent, to $1,024.99.

DOLLAR DIVES: The dollar slipped again. It has steadily lost ground for most of this year and the ICE US dollar index is now at its lowest level since August. The dollar slid to 111.98 yen from 112.66 yen. The euro rose to $1.1563 from $1.1480. The euro hasn’t been this strong compared to the dollar since early 2015.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slid to 2.26 percent from 2.31 percent. That helped send bank stocks lower. High-dividend stocks like utilities and household goods makers did better than the rest of the market as lower bond yields made them more appealing to investors seeking income.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 38 cents to $46.40 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 42 cents to $48.84 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.58 a gallon. Heating oil added 1 cent to $1.51 a gallon. Natural gas added 7 cents to $3.09 per 1,000 cubic feet.

METALS: Gold gained $8.20 to $1,241.90 an ounce. Silver rose 17 cents, or 1 percent, to $16.27 an ounce. Copper added 1 cent to $2.73 a pound.

OVERSEAS: The DAX in Germany dropped 1.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent. The British FTSE 100 index slipped 0.2 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.6 percent as the yen gained against the dollar. The Kospi in South Korea was flat. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.2 percent.


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