Stocks finish slightly lower after light day of trading
A listless day of trading on Wall Street ended with major stock indexes closing slightly lower Tuesday, weighed down by losses among some big technology companies.
Apple slid 2.5 percent amid speculation that the consumer electronics giant might cut its targets for sales of its latest iPhone.
Banks also declined, outweighing gains by energy companies and retailers. Oil prices closed higher.
Trading was light as investors returned from the Christmas holiday.
“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.”
Stocks had finished higher for five straight weeks heading into this week. They are on pace to finish every month this year with gains, when dividends are included.
The major indexes were slightly lower early on and veered little for the rest of the day. It was the lightest day of trading in about a year.
Technology companies pulled the market lower from the get-go, weighed down by chipmakers and Apple, among other big names.
Apple slid after a Taiwanese newspaper reported that the company may cut iPhone X sales targets amid weak sales. The stock declined $4.44 to $170.57.
Despite the slide, technology remains the best-performing sector in the S&P 500 this year with a gain of 37.4 percent.
Energy companies posted the biggest gains Tuesday as oil prices increased.
Investors also bid up shares in big retail stocks and consumer products companies. Kohl’s jumped $3.21, or 6 percent, to $56.87, while Macy’s added $1.18, or 4.6 percent, to $26.85.
Traders welcomed the latest corporate deal news.
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals climbed 5.9 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 $1 to $18. Mallinckrodt picked up 16 cents to $23.48.