The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

February 11, 2013

Stock market drifts lower to start the week

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks drifted lower in early Monday trading, pulling the Standard & Poor’s 500 index back from its five-year high.  

The S&P 500 slipped two points to 1,516. Nine of the 10 industry groups within the S&P 500 dropped. Financial-industry stocks, the exception, were barely higher.

The broad stock index ended last week at its highest level since November 2007, and has climbed higher for six weeks in a row.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 43 points to 13,948 a half hour after the opening bell Monday. Hewlett Packard is leading to Dow lower, dropping 16 to $16.71.The Nasdaq composite is down nine points to 3,184.

No economic reports are scheduled to be released Monday. And few big companies are scheduled to report earnings.

Loews Corp. said Monday morning that it lost $32 million in its fourth quarter, hurt by insurance losses from Superstorm Sandy and sliding prices for natural gas. The holding company, which has dealings in insurance, oil and gas and hotels, is largely controlled by the Tisch family of New York. Its stock sank 40 cents to $43.45.

The stock market raced to a stunning start in January. A last-minute deal in Washington to avoid tax hikes and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff” eased fears that the budget cuts could lead the U.S. into a recession. Markets soared in relief.

The Dow and the S&P 500 are up more than 6 percent for the year. The Nasdaq is up more than 5 percent.

In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury traded at 1.95 percent on Monday, unchanged from late Friday. The yield began the year trading at 1.70 and has climbed steadily higher.

 

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