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Sunday December 17th, 2017 3:16AM

Technology and energy stocks dip as US indexes lose ground

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are slipping Thursday as technology and energy companies fall, while a solid quarter from cereal maker Kellogg helped makers of food and household goods move higher. Investors are buying government bonds after some disappointing economic news from the U.S. and Britain. Companies that sell and distribute generic drugs took sharp losses.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,471 as of 1:40 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 3 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 22,020. The Dow crossed 22,000 points for the first time Wednesday after a seven-day winning streak. The Nasdaq composite lost 19 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,343. The Russell 2000 sank 5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,408 after a sharp loss a day ago.

TECH TAKES A TURN: Security software maker Symantec announced disappointing first-quarter sales and its forecasts for the rest of the year weren't as good as analysts had hoped. Symantec also said it will sell its website security business to DigiCert for $950 million in cash and a 30 percent stake in DigiCert. Symantec slid 49 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $30.42.

3D printer maker 3D Systems plunged $3.43, or 20.1 percent, to $13.59 after it fell short of Wall Street estimates in the second quarter and cut its projections for the full year. Elsewhere, Apple lost $1.71, or 1.1 percent, to $155.41 after a big jump the day before.

THEY'RE GREAT: Kellogg, the maker of Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts and Eggo waffles, reported another quarterly decline in sales as revenue from breakfast items slipped and snack food sales were flat. But the results weren't as bad as experts had expected. Its stock jumped $2.61, or 3.9 percent, to $70.05.

Consumer products maker Clorox also rose after it disclosed a larger-than-expected profit. It gained $4.78, or 3.6 percent, to $136.75.

GENERIC DRUG WOES: AmerisourceBergen slumped $9.05, or 9.9 percent, to $82.23 after it said it expects slower revenue growth this year. Prescription drug distributors have struggled lately as the prices of generic drugs fall, and rival Cardinal Health lost 8.2 percent Wednesday after its quarterly report.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the largest manufacturer of generic drugs, also tumbled. It slashed its outlook as falling prices and growing competition hurt its results in the U.S. The stock dropped $7.73, or 24.7 percent, to $23.53.

ECONOMIC NEWS: The Institute for Supply Management gave a disappointing report on how U.S. services companies did in July. The group said it services index slipped to its lowest reading in 11 months as production, orders and hiring all slowed down. It's a result that suggests the economy is still growing at a steady but modest pace.

Meanwhile the Bank of England cut left its key interest rate at a record low and reduced its growth forecasts for the company. However, that sent the British FTSE 100 index 0.9 points higher for the day, as investors were glad the bank probably won't raise interest rates any time soon. The pound also moved lower.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.24 percent from 2.27 percent. That sent interest rates lower, and banks also fell.

ENERGY: Oil prices turned lower. Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 35 cents to $49.24 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 14 cents to $52.22 a barrel in London.

ELECTRIFYING: Electric car maker Tesla said it's confident it can meet its production goals for its new Model 3 sedan, which will cost less than its previous cars. The company also took a smaller net loss than investors expected. Its shares gained $21.67, or 6.6 percent, to $347.56.

AVON CALLING... FOR HELP: Avon Products took a loss in its latest quarter and said sales weren't as good as expected. The cosmetics retailer has been struggling for years to revive its business, and it said Thursday that CEO Sheri McCoy will leave the company. Activist investors have put pressure on Avon to find new leadership. The stock lost 31 cents, or 9.2 percent, to $3.05.

METALS: Gold dipped $4 to $1,274.40 an ounce. Silver fell 10 cents to $16.63 an ounce. Copper lost less than 1 cent to $2.88 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.17 yen from 110.61 yen. The euro rose to $1.1866 from $1.1860.

STOCKS OVERSEAS: In France, the CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent and the DAX in Germany lost 0.2 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent and the Kospi of South Korea dropped 1.7 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 0.3 percent.

___

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care, AP Business - Utilities
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