NEW YORK (AP) — Health care and bank stocks are leading a broad decline on Wall Street Thursday as the market sheds some gains from the day before. Yields on government bonds rose again. Crude oil climbed past $50 a barrel, the highest price since June.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 72 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,209 as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,155. The Nasdaq composite declined 24 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,292.
TWITTER TUMBLE: Twitter plunged $4.76, or 19 percent, to $20.11 on reports that some companies that were believed to be interested in buying it will not. Rumors of a deal had sent Twitter up 33 percent in the 11 trading days through Wednesday.
DRUG DOWNER: Mylan slumped 79 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $37.24 following reports the company overcharged Medicaid over five years for its EpiPen allergy treatment.
RETAIL ROUT: Wal-Mart shares fell $2.16, or 3 percent, to $69.51 after the world’s largest retailer said it expects no earnings per share growth in its next fiscal year and will slow its store expansion plans.
CHINA TROUBLE: Yum Brands fell $1.54, or 1.7 percent, to $87.08 after the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut reported a quarterly profit and sales late Wednesday that missed Wall Street expectations. The results were hurt in part by protests in China against Western businesses after a court invalidated some of China’s historic claims in the South China Sea.
RATE HIKE? The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level since mid-April, fueling expectations that the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates soon. Super-low rates have helped fuel the seven-year bull market. On Friday, the government reports on non-farm job creation for September.
BOND SLUMP: The price of government bonds continues to fall. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.73 percent from 1.71 percent.
DIVIDENDS IN THE DUMPS: Investors are dumping steady dividend payers like phone companies that were once beloved by investors as an alternative source of income to low yielding bonds. The sector fell 0.6 percent today, and it’s fallen 10 percent in just three months. In the first six months of this year, heavy buying sent phone company shares up 25 percent.
EUROPE’S DAY: Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC-40 each shed 0.1 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 percent.
BREXIT FACTOR: The British pound continued to drop on concerns that the country is moving ahead with its decision to the leave the European Union and could exit the bloc’s tariff-free single market. The pound fell 0.8 percent to $1.2649, its lowest level since the June 23 vote to leave the EU.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.5 percent and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6 percent.
ENERGY: Oil prices rose to their highest level since June. U.S. benchmark crude oil gained 40 cents to $50.23 a barrel in the New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 62 cents to $52.48 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 104.01 yen, its highest level in a month, from 103.64 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1168 from $1.1212.
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