Tech stocks pull US market lower

A slide in technology companies weighed on US stocks today, pulling the market lower for the first time this week and erasing modest gains from a day earlier.

Supermarket operators, beverage companies and other consumer-focused stocks also declined. Industrial companies and banks led the gainers.

Trading was mostly subdued as investors sized up the latest company earnings and deal news.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 7.64 points, or 0.3%, to 2,500.60. The Dow Jones industrials fell 53.36 points, or 0.2%, to 22,359.23. Both indexes posted record highs on Wednesday.

The Nasdaq composite lost 33.35 points, or 0.5%, to 6,422.69. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 1.24 points, or 0.1%, to 1,444.18.

The stock market was coming off modest gains on Wednesday following the latest policy update from the Federal Reserve. The central bank indicated that it remains on course to raise interest rates on several occasions over the coming year.

Investors continued to rotate out of technology stocks. Despite the pullback, the sector remains up about 25% this year, well ahead of all other sectors in the S&P 500. Chipmaker Nvidia slid 5.08 dollars, or 2.7%, to 180.76 dollars,. Video game publisher Electronic Arts fell 2.32 dollars, or 1.9%, to 118.02 dollars.

Beverage, food and supermarket companies closed lower. Kroger dropped 58 cents, or 2.8%, to 20.22 dollars. Dr Pepper Snapple Group gave up 2.18 dollars, or 2.4%, to 89.50 dollars.

Health care stocks also declined. Allergan shares shed 7.34 dollars, or 3.5%, to 202.66 dollars.

Harry Potter publisher Scholastic fell 7.1% after reporting a disappointing quarter. The stock shed 2.72 dollars to 35.79 dollars.

Industrial stocks got a strong lift as investors bid up shares in airlines and other big companies. American Airlines added 87 cents, or 1.9%, to 46.29 dollars.

Financial stocks also got a boost. Citizens Financial Group picked up 48 cents, or 1.3%, to 36.27 dollars.

The dollar rose to 112.55 yen from 112.38 yen on Wednesday. The euro climbed to 1.1934 dollars from 1.1885 dollars.

World markets were mixed. In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.2%, while the CAC 40 in France edged up 0.5%. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares slid 0.1%. Earlier, in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2% as the yen weakened against the dollar. South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 0.1%.

AP


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