FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2019, file photo specialist Stephen Naughton, left, and trader Michael Milano work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street on Tuesday, Aug. 20, as major U.S. indexes give back a bit of the ground they won over the previous three days. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

US stocks edge lower, shed some gains from 3-day rally

August 20, 2019 - 12:02 pm

Stocks edged lower in midday trading Tuesday, weighed down by a mixed batch of company earnings and another decline in bond yields.

Financial sector stocks accounted for much of the selling as investors reacted to the decline in yields. The 10-year Treasury note slipped to 1.55% from 1.59% late Monday. When bond yields fall, it pulls down the interest rates that banks pocket on mortgages and other consumer loans. Bank of America slid 1%.

Household goods makers and communication services stocks were among the decliners. Energy stocks fell along with the price of crude oil.

Technology stocks, which like banks have tended to lead the market's gains recently, moved higher, having bounced back from the early slide. Apple rose 1.4% and Broadcom gained 2%.

Despite the overall increase in technology stocks, chipmakers were among the biggest decliners a day after climbing on news that the U.S. gave Chinese telecom giant an extension to buy more supplies from U.S. companies. Advanced Micro Devices fell 1.9% and Nvidia dropped 1.3%.

Home Depot climbed after the home improvement retailer reported earnings that topped Wall Street's forecasts. But two other big retailers didn't fare as well. Investors sent Kohl's and TJX lower after their latest quarterly report cards fell short of analysts' expectations.

The market was coming off a three-day winning streak, the latest twist for the market, which has been caught in the grips of volatile trading all month.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was down 0.3% as of noon Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 57 points, or 0.2%, to 26,079. The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, dropped 0.2%.

LET'S REMODEL: Home Depot jumped 4.4% after the home improvement retailer reported earnings that topped Wall Street's forecasts. The company also cut its sales expectations for the year as lumber prices slid and the company braces for the potential impact of tariffs on its customers.

TURNOUT TROUBLES: Kohl's fell 4.9% after the department store reported a sharper than expected decline in sales at established locations during the second quarter.

MIXED RESULTS: Shares in TJX Cos., slid 1.4% after the operator of the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods retail chains said comparable sales growth fell short of analysts' forecasts. The company also issued a third quarter earnings outlook that came in below analysts' expectations.

FEELING HEALTHY: Medtronic gained 4% after the medical device maker jumped past Wall Street's fiscal first quarter financial expectations and raised its profit forecast for the year.

EYE ON THE ECONOMY: Investors are trying to parse conflicting signals on the U.S. economy and determine whether a recession is looming. A key concern is that the escalating and costly trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies will hamper growth around the globe.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump announced plans to extend tariffs across virtually all Chinese imports, many of them consumer products that were exempt from earlier rounds of tariffs.

Although many of the tariffs have been delayed, the founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei said Tuesday he expects no relief from U.S. export curbs due to the political climate in Washington. He expressed confidence the company will thrive because it develops its own technology.

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