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Tuesday September 17th, 2019 2:39AM

Technology stocks drag US indexes lower; Italy also falls

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are sinking again Monday, and technology companies are taking some of the biggest losses. Stocks are coming off two weeks of declines, and a big jump in bond yields startled investors last week.

Stocks in Europe are falling after Italy's new deputy premier said the government won't deviate from its plan to increase spending. U.S. bond markets are closed for the Columbus Day holiday.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index gave up 16 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,869 as of 11:52 a.m. Eastern time. It fell 1.5 percent over the previous two weeks and is on track for its lowest close since late August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 143 points, or 0.5 percent, to 26,303.

The Nasdaq composite lost 105 points, or 1.4 percent, to 7,682. The Russell 2000 index slid 11 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,620. The Nasdaq and Russell are each coming off their worst week since late March.

Trading on Wall Street is expected to be light because of Columbus Day. Low trading volume can sometimes lead to large swings in the market.

BONDS: Bond markets were closed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, an important benchmark for mortgages and other types of long-term loans, jumped to 3.22 percent last week. That's its highest in more than seven years.

EARLY LOSERS: Technology companies were broadly lower. Salesforce fell 4.6 percent to $147.87 and Apple dropped 1 percent to $221.98.

Payment and credit card companies took especially sharp losses. Mastercard fell 3.4 percent to $205.98 and Global Payments skidded 3.7 percent to $117.28. PayPal retreated 4.4 percent to $79.55.

Netflix pulled internet companies lower as it declined 2.3 percent to $343.22.

EUROPE: Italy's deputy premier vowed to press ahead with a plan to increase spending and the country's deficit after the European Commission expressed "serious concern" about the notion. Five-Star leader Luigi Di Maio said Saturday "there is no plan B" to a proposal that will increase the deficit to 2.4 percent of annual gross domestic product next year.

Italy's FTSE MIB dropped 2.4 percent and Italian bond prices dropped, sending yields higher. Germany's DAX fell 1.3 percent and the CA 40 in France sank 1.1 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 fell 1 percent.

The euro sank to $1.1472 from $1.1525.

BRAZIL BOUNCE: Brazil's main stock index rose 3.9 percent and was on track for its highest close since May after far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro led the first round of presidential voting by an unexpectedly wide margin that makes him a favorite in the final round of voting later this month.

Business leaders and financial markets approved of Bolsonaro's choice of an esteemed banker as head of his economic team and a fear of the left-leaning policies of the Workers' Party. The candidate has repeatedly said he doesn't understand the economy and has also spoken approvingly of Brazil's 1964-1985 dictatorship.

ASIA: Beijing injected money into its cooling economy by reducing the level of reserves banks are required to hold, and its central bank told Chinese banks to lend more to entrepreneurs. Chinese leaders are trying to shore up economic growth that began to cool after Beijing tightened lending controls last year to rein in a debt boom. A tariff fight with U.S. President Donald Trump has added to downward pressure on growth.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 1.4 percent and the Kospi in South Korea fell 0.6 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

The dollar fell to 113.24 yen from 113.73 yen late Friday.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude slid 0.4 percent to $74.01 a barrel in New York and Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 0.6 percent to $83.66 a barrel in London.

Gold lost 1.5 percent to $1,187.50 an ounce and silver slipped 2.4 percent to $14.30 an ounce.

____

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 - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
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