Energy stocks lead US indexes sharply lower


U.S. stocks are falling, following global indexes lower, as energy companies take sharp losses

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are falling Monday, following global indexes lower, as energy companies take sharp losses. Airlines skidded after President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, which lead to protests and disruption at airports. Stocks are on track for their biggest losses in about three months.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 180 points, or 0.9 percent, to 19,914 as of 12:53 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 21 points, or 1 percent, to 2,272, and is on pace for its biggest loss since October. The Nasdaq composite dropped 63 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,596 after closing at an all-time high Friday. Small-company stocks were hit even harder. The Russell 2000 index dropped 20 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,350.

TRUMP TRAVEL TROUBLE: Late Friday Trump signed an executive order that suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and blocked travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven countries. The move, which is being challenged in court, triggered protests and confusion at U.S. airports, and airline stocks traded lower. American Airlines fell $2.66, or 5.7 percent, to $44.29. United Continental lost $3.04, or 4.1 percent, to $71.38 and Delta gave up $1.98, or 4 percent, to $47.72.

TECH TURMOIL: The travel ban also created broader uncertainty for companies and industries that rely on visa programs to hire workers, as well as some companies that do a lot of business overseas because of potential difficulties in global trade. IT consulting and outsourcing firm Cognizant Technology Solutions sank $2.16, or 3.8 percent, to $53.97 and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, skidded $20.41, or 2.4 percent, to $824.62. Chip equipment maker Lam Research was off $2.70, or 2.3 percent, to $115.54.

THE QUOTE: Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said he doesn’t think the travel order will have a major effect on the economy or international trade. Wren noted that stocks have surged lately, and some of the biggest losers on Monday were parts of the market that have done well since the election, including energy companies, banks, and smaller companies.

“The new administration is going to have very little effect on the economy this year,” he said. “Some are too excited about the positives and others are too worried about the negatives.”

GET THE IODINE: Rite Aid plunged after Walgreens said it will cut the price it’s paying to buy its rival to no more than $7 per share from $9. That came after the companies said they will sell more of Rite Aid’s stores to get antitrust regulators to approve the deal. Walgreens said it may have to sell up to 1,200 Rite Aid stores, about a quarter of the company’s total. Rite Aid sank $1.14, or 16.5 percent, to $5.79. Walgreens edged down 37 cents to $81.13.

TOSSING AND TURNING: Mattress retailer Tempur Sealy said Mattress Firm is moving to terminate its supply contracts with the company. Tempur Sealy said Mattress Firm wanted to make big changes to supply agreements and the two sides weren’t able to reach an agreement. It expects the two companies to stop doing business during the first quarter. Tempur Sealy said it made 21 percent of its net sales last year to Mattress Firm. Its stock fell $20.22, or 32 percent, to $42.97.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 57 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $52.60 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gave up 41 cents to $55.29 a barrel in London. Chevron retreated $2.17, or 1.9 percent, to $111.62 and ConocoPhillips fell $1.98, or 4 percent, to $47.45.

OFF THE PACE: Fitness tracker maker Fitbit dropped $1.03, or 14.2 percent, to $6.18 after the company posted weak fourth-quarter sales and said it will eliminate about six percent of its jobs, or about 110 positions.

KEY FITS: Electronic measurement technology company Keysight Technologies said it will buy network hardware company Ixia for $19.65 per share, or $1.6 billion. Ixia jumped $1.28, or 7 percent, to $19.48 while Keysight held steady at $37.01.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.47 percent 2.48 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 113.64 yen from 115.09 yen. The euro dipped to $1.0697 from $1.0698.

OVERSEAS: The DAX of Germany fell 1.1 percent and the French CAC-40 also shed 1.1 percent while Britain’s FTSE 100 was 0.9 percent lower. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 percent.

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