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Friday December 15th, 2017 10:32PM

US stocks slip as health care and technology take losses

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are slipping Friday as investors take a pause following some huge moves since last week's presidential election. Health care and technology companies are taking some of the largest losses. Retailers Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch are dropping after they gave weak quarterly reports, while discount retailer Ross Stores is climbing.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average slid 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,863 as of 11 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,181. The Nasdaq composite touched a record high, but turned lower and gave up 16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,318.

QUEASY FEELING: Health care companies traded lower. Johnson & Johnson slipped 71 cents to $115.06 while Botox maker Allergan retreated $4.35, or 2.2 percent, to $195.63. Drugmaker AbbVie lost 73 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $60.97.

TECH TURBULENCE: Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, fell 34 cents, or 1 percent, to $34.68 as part of a broad decline in the technology sector. Video game publisher Activision Blizzard shed $1.21, or 3 percent, to $38.73 as investors feared weaker holiday season sales. Business software maker Oracle lost 34 cents to $39.91. Tech stocks, which soared over the summer, have largely missed out on the market's gains since the election.

FUN IN THE SUN: Investors approved the combination of electric car maker Tesla Motors and solar power company SolarCity. The deal, first proposed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in June, has gotten a chilly reception on Wall Street. Analysts wondered why Tesla would want to take on SolarCity while it's building a big battery factory in Nevada and also preparing to launch its first mass-market car, the Model 3, due out at the end of 2017. Shares of both companies dropped in the ensuing months.

Tesla slumped $2.78, or 1.5 percent, to $185.88 and SolarCity rose 6 cents to $20.46.

RETAIL: Teen clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch fell $2.21, or 13.1 percent, to $14.72 after it reported weak sales and a smaller profit than analysts had expected. Gap's said fewer people visited its stores heading into the holiday season. Its stock gave up $3.57, or 11.6 percent, to $27.14. Sporting goods Hibbett Sports retailer cut its annual forecasts after a weak third-quarter report. It dropped $5.70, or 12.6 percent, to $39.60.

Shoppers are not buying as many clothes and moving toward discount chains. Discount retailer Ross Stores rose $2.91, or 4.4 percent, to $68.44 after it posted a better-than-expected profit and sales.

DOLLAR SEEING GREEN: Already at its highest mark since early 2003, the dollar continued to climb. It's around annual highs against the euro and six-month highs against the yen. The dollar rose to 110.58 yen from 109.89 yen. The euro fell to $1.0586 from $1.0626.

BONDS: Investors continued to sell U.S. government bonds at a rapid clip, and bond prices wobbled and turned lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.34 percent from 2.30 percent.

OUT IN FORCE: Customer management software maker Salesforce.com jumped after a solid quarterly report and strong guidance. Its stock picked up $3.06, or 4.1 percent, to $78.25.

A MARVEL: Chipmaker Marvell Technology disclosed much stronger sales than analysts expected and gave a surprising forecast for the current quarter. Its stock gained $1.11, or 8.3 percent, to $14.47.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gave up 40 cents at $45.02 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, slid 41 cents to $46.08 a barrel in London.

OVERSEAS: France's CAC 40 was down 0.5 percent and the FTSE 100 in Britain dipped 0.3 percent. The German DAX lost 0.1 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.6 percent as the yen hit a six-month low, helping shares of the country's big exporters. South Korea's Kospi shed 0.3 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent.

____

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Financial Markets
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