US stock indexes dip as oil prices sink energy companies


By Marley Jay - AP Markets Writer



FILE- In this April 24, 2018, file photo, an American flag flies outside the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug 8. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

FILE- In this April 24, 2018, file photo, an American flag flies outside the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug 8. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)


NEW YORK (AP) — A late gain for U.S. stocks slipped away Wednesday as a four-day winning streak ended. Energy companies sank along with the price of oil.

The price of crude oil fell more than 3 percent Wednesday. Big dividend payers and industrial companies slipped. Gains for Microsoft, Facebook and Alphabet helped technology companies finish higher. Banks and health care companies also rose.

The U.S. and China both announced new tariffs: later this month each country will put a 25 percent tax on $16 billion in goods imported from the other. Both countries placed tariffs on $34 billion in imports earlier this month, and they have threatened much larger tariffs to come.

But investors have been focusing on rising company earnings instead. Karyn Cavanaugh, senior markets strategist at Voya Investment Management, said U.S. companies are expecting bigger profits in spite of the tariffs.

“That speaks to me a lot louder than a lot of negative headlines,” she said. “Companies have gotten very good at minimizing their costs and being very efficient with what they have.”

The S&P 500 index dipped 0.75 points to 2,857.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 45.16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,583.75. The Nasdaq composite rose 4.66 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,888.33. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks lost 1.42 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,686.88.

The Trump administration plans to tax Chinese industrial products such as steam turbines and iron girders starting Aug. 23. China’s government said it will put tariffs on U.S. goods including cars, crude oil and scrap metal starting on the same date.

Oil futures fell sharply. U.S. crude oil lost 3.2 percent to $66.94 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 3.2 percent to $72.28 a barrel in London.

Exxon Mobil lost 0.7 percent to $80.73 and Chevron dipped 1 percent to $123.88.

Snap, which runs the Snapchat video app, fell 6.8 percent to $12.23 after it said daily users fell during the second quarter. It’s the latest technology company to have its stock drop after announcing discouraging user totals, joining Facebook, Twitter and Netflix.

Match Group, the parent of online dating companies including Match.com and OKCupid, bucked that trend. Its stock jumped 17.3 percent to $45.60 after Match reported big gains in subscribers, especially for Tinder. Its adjusted profit and revenue beat Wall Street projections.

Drugstore and pharmacy benefits manager CVS raised its annual profit forecast and rose 4.2 percent to $68.17. CVS said prescriptions sales grew, although it took a loss after it wrote down the value of its Omnicare pharmacy services business by almost $4 billion.

In April, construction equipment company Caterpillar said it doubted it would top its first-quarter profit for the rest of this year. Investors were concerned that that might hold true for the rest of corporate America, but so far it hasn’t.

A month ago analysts expected the companies of the S&P 500 to earn $160.32 per share in 2018. That’s risen by almost a dollar, to $161.29 a share. Their estimates for 2019 have risen by a bit more than a dollar, to $177.52 a share from $176.38.

Twinkie maker Hostess Brands plunged 17.6 percent to $11.49 after it said its results were hurt by cuts in promotional support and inventory from a major retailer and higher costs, including for transportation.

Pizza maker Papa John’s fell 5.2 percent to $38.94 after it said North American sales fell again. The company also cut its forecasts for the year. Papa John’s is in a public spat it with founder John Schnatter, who was ousted as chairman in July after a report he used a racial slur in a conference call.

Domino’s, a rival pizza delivery company, climbed 3.4 percent to $286.92.

Walt Disney fell 2.2 percent to $113.98 after the entertainment company’s profit and revenue fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Cars.com and Avis Budget Group both sank after cutting their sales forecasts. Rental car company Avis skidded 15.2 percent to $32.85 while Cars.com, an online auto marketplace, dipped 2.6 percent to $27.29.

Struggling rival Hertz jumped 24 percent Tuesday after a better-than-expected quarterly report. Hertz fell 7.3 percent to $18.11 Wednesday.

Bond prices turned higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.96 percent from 2.97 percent.

In other commodities trading, wholesale gasoline fell 4 percent to $2.02 gallon. Heating oil lost 2.5 percent to $2.12 a gallon. Natural gas rose 1.8 percent to $2.95 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,221 an ounce. Silver gained 0.4 percent to $15.43 an ounce. Copper remained at $2.75 a pound.

The dollar fell to 110.96 yen from 111.43. The euro inched up to $1.1619 from $1.1594.

The German DAX fell 0.1 percent and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.4 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 index rose 0.8 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gave up early gains and closed 0.1 percent lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent while South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.1 percent higher.

FILE- In this April 24, 2018, file photo, an American flag flies outside the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug 8. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2018/08/web1_121108254-8fbeec5602b04609afc1a1c26be42d46.jpgFILE- In this April 24, 2018, file photo, an American flag flies outside the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug 8. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

By Marley Jay

AP Markets Writer

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