Tech companies, banks lead indexes lower
U.S. stocks edged lower in light trading Tuesday afternoon as markets reopened following the Christmas holiday. Technology stocks accounted for most of the losses. Apple slid on speculation that the company would cut its targets for iPhone sales. Banks also declined, outweighing gains by energy companies and retailers. Oil prices closed higher.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,680 as of 3:08 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 24,737. The Nasdaq lost 24 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,935. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,545.
Stocks finished higher Friday for a fifth straight week and are on pace to finish every month of the year with gains, when dividends are included.
THE QUOTE: "It's a low-volume day after Christmas, with hardly anything going on," said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments. "You have one piece of news that is significant on a major company, Apple. That moved some of the components around."
SOUR APPLE: Apple slid 2.6 percent after a Taiwanese newspaper reported that the company may cut iPhone X sales targets amid weak sales. The stock declined $4.56 to $170.45.
TECH SLUMP: A slide in technology companies weighed on the market. Micron Technology lost $1.88, or 4.3 percent, to $42.24.
PHARMA DEAL: Sucampo Pharmaceuticals climbed 5.7 percent after it agreed to be acquired by drugmaker Mallinckrodt for $839 million, or $18 a share. Sucampo makes a constipation drug called Amitiza and it had $230 million in total revenue last year. Sucampo added 98 cents to $17.98. Mallinckrodt picked up 23 cents, or 1 percent, to $23.55.
WEIGHING A SALE: KLX surged 10.1 percent after the aerospace products and energy services company said it will consider options including a sale. The stock added $6.37 to $69.37.
BIG GAINERS: Investors bid up shares in big retail stocks and consumer products companies. Kohl's jumped $3.33, or 6.2 percent, to $56.99, while Macy's added $1.23, or 4.8 percent, to $26.90.
OIL: Crude oil prices rose. Benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.50, or 2.6 percent, to settle at $59.97 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, rose $1.77, or 2.7 percent, to close at $67.02 in London.
The pickup in oil prices helped lift energy stocks. Range Resources gained 52 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $16.99.
METALS: Gold rose $8.70, or 0.7 percent, to $1,287.50 an ounce. Silver added 16 cents to $16.60 an ounce. Copper picked up 4 cents to $3.28 a pound.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.46 percent from 2.48 percent late Friday.