New York Stock Exchange Global Head of Listings John Tuttle, right, watches as GrafTech International Ltd. CEO Dave Rintoul, left, breaks the gavel as Rintoul rings a ceremonial bell to mark his company's IPO, Thursday, April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Tech companies help pull US stocks lower in afternoon trade

April 19, 2018 - 2:15 pm

U.S. stocks moved broadly lower in late-afternoon trading Thursday, placing the market on track for its first loss this week. Technology companies, makers of consumer products and health care stocks accounted for much of the slide as investors pored over the latest raft of corporate quarterly results. Banks bucked the trend, rising along with bond yields.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 17 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,691 as of 3:09 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 104 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,644. The Nasdaq composite lost 56 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,238. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 9 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,573. The S&P 500 is coming off a three-day winning streak.

THE QUOTE: "The earnings were a little bit disappointing today and we're just really seeing, especially within the tech sector, follow-through on some of the big names that have reported disappointing numbers in some key spaces," said Lindsey Bell, an investment strategist at CFRA Research.

TECH SLUMP: Semiconductor industry companies led a slide in technology stocks. Lam Research tumbled 6.8 percent to $189.75. Applied Materials lost 6.6 percent to $51.11.

WHAT A DRAG: Philip Morris International slumped after the tobacco company disclosed weak quarterly sales, noting that sales of its iQos device in Japan were slower than expected. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, sliding to 15.8 percent to $85.45

GOING SHOPPING: Procter & Gamble agreed to buy Merck KGaA's consumer health business for about $4.2 billion. That weighed on Procter & Gamble's shares, which declined 3.2 percent to $75.03.

DEAL HURDLE: Qualcomm slid 4.4 percent to $52.81 after the Chinese government said it still has concerns about the company's deal to buy NXP Semiconductors. Qualcomm withdrew one proposal for the deal Monday and submitted another.

CHARGED UP: American Express jumped 7.2 percent to $101.99 after the credit card issuer reported a big quarterly profit thanks to strong customer spending and a lower tax rate.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.92 percent from 2.88 percent late Wednesday. That's the highest level since February. When bond yields rise, they push up interest rates on mortgages and other loans, which can translate into bigger profits for banks. That helped drive bank shares higher. Bank of New York Mellon gained 5.1 percent to $54.92.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gave up early gains, slipping 18 cents to settle at $68.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 30 cents to close at $73.78 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.40 yen from 107.26 yen on Wednesday. The euro fell to $1.2340 from $1.2377.

METALS: Gold fell $4.70 to $1,348.80 an ounce. Silver slipped a penny to $17.24 an ounce. Copper dropped 3 cents to $3.13 a pound.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX slipped 0.2 percent, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.2 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.2 percent. Major indexes in Asia finished higher. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.6 percent and South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.3 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 percent. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

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