Tech companies lead US stocks mostly lower in early trading
U.S. stocks edged mostly lower in light trading early Tuesday as markets reopened following the Christmas holiday. Losses among technology companies outweighed gains by airlines and other industrials stocks. Energy companies rose as the price of crude oil headed higher.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,680 as of 10 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 5 points to 24,760. The Nasdaq lost 36 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,923. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,544.
Stocks finished higher Friday for a fifth straight week and are on pace to finish every month of the year with gains, when dividends are included.
TECH SLUMP: A slide in technology companies weighed on the market. Micron Technology lost $2.15, or 4.9 percent, to $41.97.
SOUR APPLE: Apple slid 2.8 percent after a Taiwanese newspaper reported that the company may cut iPhone X sales targets amid weak sales. The stock declined $4.85 to $170.16.
PHARMA DEAL: Sucampo Pharmaceuticals climbed 5.3 percent after it agreed to be acquired by drugmaker Mallinckrodt for $839 million, or $18 a share. Sucampo makes a constipation drug called Amitiza and it had $230 million in total revenue last year. Shares in Sucampo added 90 cents to $17.90. Mallinckrodt shares picked up $1.32, or 5.7 percent, to $24.65.
BIG GAINERS: Airlines and construction equipment companies rose as part of a rally in industrial stocks. General Electric added 21 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $17.60.
CONSUMER FRIENDLY: Investors bid up shares in big retail stocks, supermarket operators and consumer products companies. Walgreens Boots Alliance rose 74 cents, or 1 percent, to $73.45.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 29 cents to $58.76 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained 24 cents to $64.97 in London.
The pickup in oil prices helped lift energy stocks. Range Resources gained 22 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $16.68.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held at 2.48 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 113.27 yen from 113.31 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1869 from $1.1852.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Markets in Germany, Britain and France were closed for a holiday. Markets in Hong Kong and Australia were also closed for a holiday. Elsewhere in Asia, markets were mixed in light trading. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.2 percent, while Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.5 percent and India’s Sensex gained 0.2 percent. Shares in Taiwan and Singapore declined while Bangkok rose.