Written by Associated Press
A steep drop-off in grocery store operators helped pull stock indexes slightly lower after a day of up-and-down trading.
Kroger dropped 8.1 percent Thursday after Whole Foods Market said its deal to be acquired by Amazon would close on Monday and that the store would begin cutting prices immediately. Costco lost 5 percent.
Food companies slumped after the makers of Spam and Folgers coffee reported weak results. Hormel lost 5.4 percent and J.M. Smucker fell 9.5 percent.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,438.
The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 28 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,783. The Nasdaq fell 7 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,271.
Small-company stocks rose. The Russell 2000 index climbed 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,373.