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U.S. stocks mostly down in midday trading; oil heads lower

🕐 2 min read

Energy companies led U.S. stocks mostly lower in midday trading Friday as the price of crude oil fell and several retailers reported disappointing quarterly results. Utilities were up more than the rest of the market, which was coming off a post-election rally that pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to a new high a day earlier.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow slid 16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,791 as of 12:11 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,160. The Nasdaq composite index gained 8 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,216. The S&P 500 is headed for its biggest weekly gain in two years.

TRUMP EFFECT: Investors are gauging the possible implications of policy changes that may come about when the Trump administration takes office in January, including tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation. Traders have been pulling out of bonds, expecting Trump’s policies might spur inflation, leading to higher interest rates, both of which are bad for bonds. Higher yields on bonds also would draw investors away from high-dividend stocks such as utilities, phone companies and real estate companies.

ENERGY SLUMP: Several energy companies were down as oil prices headed lower. Murphy Oil slid $1.46, or 5.1 percent, to $27.25, while Chesapeake Energy fell 28 cents, or 4.9 percent, to $5.42. Hess lost $1.93, or 4 percent, to $47.71.

ROUGH QUARTER: Michael Kors fell 8.7 percent after investors pored over the luxury retailer’s latest quarterly report card. Its shares lost $4.52 to $47.24.

GRAPHIC RESULTS: Nvidia surged 25.7 percent after the maker of graphics processors for gaming and other applications posted better-than-expected quarterly results late Thursday. The stock gained $17.38 to $85.19.

MOUSE HOUSE: Walt Disney rose 2.1 percent. The company, which owns Marvel, Star Wars and its own Pixar and Disney Studios, said is forging ahead with new streaming deals involving Netflix, Hulu and others. The stock added $1.99 to $96.95.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX rose 0.4 percent, while France’s CAC 40 slid 0.9 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.4 percent. Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 1.4 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.9 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down $1.35, or 3 percent, to $43.32 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down $1.25, or 2.7 percent, to $44.59 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. currency fell to 106.70 yen from 106.83 yen late Thursday. The euro slid to $1.0844 from $1.0890. The Mexican peso continued to drop, as investors worried about Trump’s promises to scrap trade deals and build a wall along the border. The dollar was up another 1.6 percent at 20.85 pesos, putting it up 22.1 percent this year. Bond trading was closed in observance of Veterans’ Day.

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