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published on February 1, 2018 - 1:09 PM
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(AP) — U.S. stock indexes were mostly lower in late-afternoon trading Thursday after shedding modest gains from earlier in the day. Losses in technology stocks, as well as retailers, restaurant chains and other consumer-focused companies, accounted for much of the decline. Banks climbed as bond yields rose, setting the stage for higher interest rates.

Energy stocks also rose along with crude oil prices.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,821 as of 3:54 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 27 points, or 0.1 percent, to 26,177. The Nasdaq fell 19 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,391.

THE QUOTE: “Good earnings alone or maybe great earnings alone won’t move the stock market up,” said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management. “We got to have a pause in the rate of increase in interest rates for the uptrend to resume.”

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 2.79 percent from 2.71 percent late Wednesday. The prospect for stronger economic growth, both in the U.S. and abroad, has helped drive bond yields higher in recent months. This week yields have hovered at the highest level since April 2014. Rising yields make bonds more appealing to investors seeking income, but they can also lead to higher financing costs for companies, homebuyers and other borrowers.

Those higher borrowing costs can help lift profits for banks, credit card issuers and other types of lenders. That gave a boost to financial stocks Thursday. Lincoln National climbed $2.41, or 2.9 percent, to $85.21.

REPORTING IN: Investors continued to sift through a raft of corporate earnings reports. About a third of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported results so far this earnings season, and some 65 percent of those have delivered both earnings and revenue that exceeded financial analysts’ expectations, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“From an earnings standpoint, the season has been really good and really strong,” said David Lyon, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. “While the numbers look good, there have been a couple of weak spots, but overall, when we look back, it’s going to be a really strong earnings season.”

DELIVERING A DUD: United Parcel Service slumped 7 percent after it said that higher costs affected its business in the fourth quarter. The stock was down $8.94 to $118.38.

OUTBID: PayPal slid 6.7 percent after eBay said it would move to a different payment processor. PayPal shares gave up $5.73 to $79.59.

FUDGED IT: Hershey shares fell 6.3 percent after the company’s latest quarterly results fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. The stock lost $6.98 to $103.35.

CHIPPER RESULTS: Qorvo jumped 16.2 percent after the chipmaker served up solid quarterly results. The stock gained $11.60 to $83.37.

SHAREWORTHY: Facebook climbed 3 percent a day after the social media company posted strong quarter results. The stock added $5.53 to $192.42.

BID ON THIS: Shares in eBay vaulted 14.7 percent after the e-commerce company gave a strong forecast for the current quarter. The stock picked up $5.98 to $46.56.

OIL & GAS: Benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.07, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $65.80 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 76 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $69.65 per barrel in London. Natural gas slumped 14 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $2.86 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.90 a gallon and heating oil rose 2 cents to $2.09 a gallon.

The rise in oil prices helped lift some energy sector stocks. Schlumberger added $1.21, or 1.6 percent, to $74.79.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to $109.47 yen from 109.11 yen on Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.2492 from $1.2410.

BITCOIN: The price of bitcoin was down 12.3 percent to $8,921, according to the tracking site CoinDesk. Bitcoin futures on the Cboe Futures Exchange slid 13.4 percent to $8,620.

METALS: Gold rose $4.80 to $1,347.90 an ounce. Silver dropped 9 cents to $17.16 an ounce. Copper added 1 cent to $3.21 a pound.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe declined. Germany’s DAX lost 1.4 percent, while France’s CAC 40 slid 0.5 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.6 percent. Markets in Asia finished mixed. Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.7 percent and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.8 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9 percent.


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