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Stocks slip as industrial and energy companies fall


U. S. stocks are down Tuesday as industrial and energy companies and banks decline, but a gain for technology stocks helped the market narrow an earlier loss. Investors focused on trade tensions over U. S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. First-quarter results from Pfizer and Under Armour disappointed.
U. S. stocks are down Tuesday as industrial and energy companies and banks decline, but a gain for technology companies helped the market narrow an earlier loss. Investors are focused on trade tensions after the White House said it would delay its decision to impose tariffs on U. S. imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico for 30 days. U. S. manufacturing grew at a slower pace in April, and construction spending decreased.
First-quarter results from drugmaker Pfizer and athletic apparel maker Under Armour disappointed Wall Street. Several overseas markets were closed for public holidays.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,642 as of 2:20 p.m. Eastern time.
The Dow Jones industrial average sank 173 points, or 0.7%, to 23,989. Earlier in the day it was down as much as 354 points as aerospace company Boeing, heavy machinery maker Caterpillar and industrial coatings company 3M dived.
Technology companies fared better, and the Nasdaq composite rose 21 points, or 0.3%, to 7,087.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks was flat at 1,541 points.
TRADE: The Trump administration’s delay in imposing tariffs sidesteps a potential trade battle with Europe for now, but European Union leaders want a permanent exemption and say the uncertainty caused by delays is bad for business. The announcement comes ahead of trade talks between the United States and China this week.
Industrial companies struggled. Boeing fell 2% to $327, and engine maker Cummins tumbled 5.4% to $151.29 after its first-quarter report. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin sagged 5% to $304.79.
ECONOMY: U. S. manufacturing kept growing in April but at a slower pace, according to the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers. Many factories said shortages of skilled workers naffected their productivity. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said construction spending fell in March as home building dropped sharply.
THE QUOTE: Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, said investors haven’t had to deal with much weak economic data in the last year.
“That’s something the market is kind of not used to,” he said. But he said he’s more concerned that, even though companies are reporting great first-quarter results, the market isn’t reacting very much.
“It’s been the best earnings season we’ve had in 10 years,” he said. “People are starting to sit out. And part of the reason they’re sitting out is we’re having such high volatility.”
EARNINGS: Pfizer slumped 3.8% to $35.22 as its first-quarter sales fell short of estimates. The maker of pain medicine Lyrica and the blockbuster Prevnar 13 vaccine against pneumococcal infections said sales of older medicines slipped.
Merck fell 2.6% to $57.34 after its report.
AbbVie climbed 5.6% to $101.91 after it said it will buy back $7.5 billion of its own stock.
Tapestry, Coach’s parent company, dropped 10.8% to $47.95 after its Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands had weak first quarters.
Underwear maker Hanesbrands fell 5.1% to $17.53.
TECHNOLOGY: Electronic storage company Seagate Technology slid 7.5% to $53.54 after its fiscal third-quarter report. The stock is still up 26.5% this year.
Overall, technology companies rose. Apple climbed 1.6% to $167.86 as investors waited for its report, which will come after the close of trading. The most valuable U. S. company has lagged behind the overall market this year, partly because investors are worried about iPhone sales.
Chipmaker Intel rose 2% to $52.67, and video game maker Electronic Arts rose 1% to $119.11.
COMMODITIES: Commodities prices fell as the dollar grew stronger. Oil prices gave up some of their recent gains. Benchmark U. S. crude fell 2% to $67.19 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, declined 2.3% to $72.99 a barrel in London.
Energy companies fell. Exxon Mobil shares lost 1.6% to $76.53.
Gold fell 0.9% to $1,306.80 an ounce. Silver fell 1.7% to $16.04 an ounce. Copper fell 1.2% to $3.02 a pound.
BAD ROMANCE: After Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said his company is developing its own dating feature, shares of Match Group tumbled. The operator of dating apps including Match, OKCupid and Tinder plunged 17% to $39.12. Its biggest investor and former parent company, IAC/InteractiveCorp, sank 12.7% to $141.50.
BONDS: Bond prices edged down. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.97% from 2.96%. The 10-year yield hit a four-year high last week.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.71 yen from 109.29 yen. The euro fell to $1.2000 from 1.2082.
OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1% and the Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 0.2%. Markets in France and Germany, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and most cities in Southeast Asia were closed for public holidays.

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