Stocks wobble as investors pause following latest records

November 19, 2019 - 10:34 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks wobbled between small gains and losses in early trading on Wall Street Tuesday as investors paused following another record-setting day.

Major indexes have been steadily rising for weeks as a mix of solid economic data and corporate earnings inject confidence into the market.

Worries about a potential recession have faded and investors are now closely watching for any developments in trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Technology stocks again made some of the biggest gains. They have been leading much of the market’s rally over the last month as investors grow more hopeful that the U.S. and China will eventually agree on a trade deal. Broadcom rose 4.3% and Oracle rose 1%.

Health care and financial companies also made gains in the early going. Biogen rose 1.8% and Moody’s rose 1.2%.

Retailers fell broadly following dismal quarterly reports from Home Depot and Kohl's.

Oil prices fell and pushed energy stocks lower. Marathon Petroleum fell 2.3% and Occidental slipped 2.7%.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.1% as of 10:09 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 59 points, or 0.2%, to 27,977. The Nasdaq rose less than 0.1%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 0.1%

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 1.80%.

European markets moved higher and Asian markets were mixed.

BAD CUT: Home Depot dropped 5.3% after the home improvement company reported weak sales growth for the most recent quarter and cut its forecast for the year. Lowe’s, which will report earnings on Wednesday, fell 1%.

RETAIL ROUT: Kohl’s plunged 17.9% after the department store operator slashed its profit forecast for the year following weak third-quarter earnings.

Investors dumped stocks of other department store operators after the weak outlook from Kohl's. Macy's sank 9.7% and Nordstrom lost 6.9%. Both report their own results on Thursday.

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