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U.S. stocks slip as energy companies take losses

🕐 4 min read

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are skidding Monday as the energy sector takes big losses. Companies including Xerox and drugmaker Perrigo are down after reporting disappointing earnings and lowering their expectations for the year. Consumer stocks are trading higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 68 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,935 as of 2:55 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,083. The Nasdaq composite index slid 17 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,889.

Stocks have trimmed their losses from earlier in the day. At one point the Dow was down 148 points.

COPY THAT: Xerox cut its earnings estimate for the year after its first-quarter profit dropped 85 percent. The company’s revenue fell, and costs went up as it gets ready to split into two businesses. The stock shed $1.34, or 12 percent, to $9.82.

PERRI-GOING: Irish drugmaker Perrigo is tumbling after cutting its profit forecast. The company said prices for over-the-counter products in Europe are down, and it may take an impairment charge for a business it bought just a year ago.

Perrigo chairman and CEO Joseph Papa also left the company to join Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The stock lost $20.94, or 17.3 percent, to $100.41.

EARNINGS: Corporate earnings statements pick up steam this week. Around a third of the S&P 500 are due to report their results.

GET THAT PAPER: Gannett, the owner of USA Today and other papers, offered to buy Tribune Publishing for $388 million. Tribune owns 11 newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. It said Tribune has refused to start constructive talks.

The offer values Tribune Publishing at $12.25 per share, and its stock surged $3.92, or 52.1 percent, to $11.44. Gannett stock rose 87 cents, or 5.4 percent, to $16.62.

LOTS OF LOSSES: Industrial and materials companies fell. Railroad company Union Pacific gave up $2.05, or 2.3 percent, to $87.59 and mining and construction equipment maker Caterpillar declined $1.85, or 2.4 percent, to $76.47. Packaging companies fell, with WestRock off $1.16, or 2.8 percent, to $39.58 and International Paper down 70 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $42.66.

CONSUMER CLIMBING: Consumer companies traded higher. Tyson Foods rose $1.37, or 2.2 percent, to $64.44 and supermarket operator Kroger picked up $1.16, or 3.3 percent, to $36.74. Spice retailer McCormick added $1.45, or 1.6 percent, to $93.21.

HOME SALES TUMBLE: For the third month in a row, sales of new homes decreased in March. The Commerce Department said overall sales fell 1.5 percent as sales in the West dropped more than 20 percent. Homebuilder stocks were broadly lower. PulteGroup sank 34 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $18.71 and KB Home dropped 29 cents, or 2 percent, to $14.11.

CENTRAL BANKS: Investors will watch central bank policy meetings in Japan and the U.S. this week. The Federal Reserve will meet Tuesday and Wednesday. Investors don’t expect it to raise interest rates, but investors will review the Fed’s comments about the U.S. and global economy.

Traders will look to see whether the Japanese central bank enacts a further stimulus.

SAUDI ARABIA: The government of Saudi Arabia said a small portion of the world’s largest oil company will go public. The kingdom valued Saudi Aramco at more than $2 trillion. It’s long been considered the most valuable company in the world. Apple, the most valuable publicly traded company, has a market capitalization of about $585 billion.

The planned IPO is part of a series of economic reforms that are intended to make the Saudi economy less reliant on oil. Oil was the source of almost three-quarters of the country’s total revenue last year.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.09, or 2.5 percent, to $42.64 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 63 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $44.48 a barrel in London.

METALS: The price of gold and silver each ticked higher. Gold gained $10.20 to $1,240.20 an ounce and silver added 11 cents to $17 an ounce. Copper fell 1 cent to $2.25 a pound.

OTHER ENERGY TRADING: Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $1.51 a gallon. Heating oil lost 2 cents to $1.29 a gallon. Natural gas fell 8 cents to $2.06 per 1,000 cubic feet.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX fell 0.8 percent and France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.5 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.8 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 0.8 percent. In South Korea the Kospi inched down 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.8 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices were little changed and the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note held steady at 1.89 percent. The euro rose to $1.1268 from $1.1245. The dollar fell to 111.22 yen from 111.67 yen.

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