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Tech and health stocks slip; Amazon hits $1 trillion

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 4, 2018, 1:42 p.m.

In this Aug. 21, 2018 photo screens above trading posts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange show the NSE logo. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
In this Aug. 21, 2018 photo screens above trading posts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange show the NSE logo. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)

NEW YORK – U.S. stocks are slightly lower Tuesday as technology and health care companies slip. Amazon fared better than the rest of the market and briefly traded above $1 trillion in market value. Apple became the first U.S. publicly traded company to reach that mark last month.

Banks are jumping as interest rates rise sharply. Nike is sliding after it gave a major endorsement deal to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, known for his protests of police brutality and racial injustice.

Investors are looking ahead to Congressional hearings Wednesday on social media and trade talks between the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. could also announce new tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China later in the week.

Keeping score: The S&P 500 index dipped 3 points, or 0.1percent, to 2,897 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1 point to 25,966. The Nasdaq composite gave up 15 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,093. The Russell 2000 index lost 8 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,732.

The S&P 500 has risen in eight of the past nine weeks and closed at an all-time high Wednesday.

No tech support: Microsoft lost 0.5 percent to $111.68 and Seagate Technology fell 7.7 percent to $49.40 as technology companies declined.

Executives from Facebook and Twitter are scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday about how the companies are dealing with efforts by Russia and other countries to influence social media platforms and interfere in U.S. elections.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is testifying before a House committee, which wants to know how Twitter monitors and polices content. Without evidence, conservatives have accused Twitter of limiting their reach online.

Facebook sank 2.3 percent to $171.67 and Twitter fell 1 percent to $34.83. Alphabet, Google’s parent company and the recent target of complaints by President Donald Trump, lost 1.5 percent to $1,212.73.

Unlaced: Nike stock fell 2.7 percent to $79.96 after the company announced a new endorsement deal with Colin Kaepernick. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback will be one of the faces of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Investors feared a possible backlash from customers.

Two seasons ago Kaepernick began a wave of protests by NFL players, kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. He hasn’t played in the NFL since the end of the 2016 season and is suing the league, saying owners conspired to keep him out of the game because of his protests of social injustice.

Trillion times two: Amazon became the second publicly-traded company to reach $1 trillion in market value. It later gave up some of that gain, but was still trading up 1.5 percent to $2,043.67, which gave it a market value of $997 billion.

Apple reached $1 trillion on Aug. 2 and is now valued at $1.1 trillion. According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, Amazon and Apple combined account for 8 percent of the current value of the S&P 500.

Amazon has climbed 76 percent in 2018 while Apple has gained 35 percent. The S&P 500 is up 8.4 percent.

JD.COM CEO: Chinese e-commerce company JD.com slid 6.1 percent to $29.38 after founder and CEO Richard Liu was arrested in the U.S. late Friday. Liu was arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct and was released pending charges. JD.com said he has returned to China.

Bonds: Bond prices dropped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.90 percent from 2.85 percent.

Banks made modest gains as higher long-term interest rates mean they make more money from mortgages and other types of loans. High-dividend companies including real estate and household goods makers fell, as investors sold those stocks and bought bonds instead.

Energy: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.1 percent to $69.87 a barrel in New York. Brent Crude, used to price international oils, was little changed at $78.17 a barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline dipped 0.1 percent to $1.99 a gallon. Heating oil rose 0.5 percent to $2.25 a gallon. Natural gas slumped 3.2 percent to $2.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Metals: The dollar gained strength and metals prices fell. Gold lost 0.6 percent TO $1,199.10 an ounce. Silver dropped 2.6 percent to $14.18 an ounce and Copper sank 2.6 percent to $2.60 a pound.

Trade concerns: Talks to keep Canada in a revised North American trade deal are scheduled to resume Wednesday as Washington and Ottawa try to break a deadlock over issues such as Canada’s dairy market and U.S. efforts to shield drug companies from generic competition.

The U.S. and Mexico announced a preliminary trade deal last week, and while the Trump administration has threatened to leave Canada out of a final deal, investors expect it to be included.

Currencies: The dollar rose to 111.48 yen from 111.01 yen. The euro fell to $1.1580 from $1.1597.

Overseas: France’s CAC 40 dropped 1.3 percent and Germany’s DAX shed 1.1 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 index lost 0.6 percent.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.1 percent while the Kospi in South Korea gained 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.9 percent.


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