Trader Edward McCarthy work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. U.S. stocks veered broadly lower in early trading Monday as losses in health care companies and banks outweighed gains elsewhere. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Banks, health care companies weigh on US stock indexes

October 22, 2018 - 12:08 pm

Major U.S. stock indexes were mostly lower in midday trading Monday as losses in banks and health care companies outweighed gains elsewhere. Energy companies also fell along with the price of crude oil. Technology companies rebounded after an early tumble. Smaller companies were doing better than the rest of the market. Toy makers slumped after Hasbro's latest quarterly results disappointed investors.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,758 as of noon Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 129 points, or 0.5 percent, to 25,315. The Nasdaq gained 32 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,481. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,549.

EARNINGS SEASON: Investors have been worried in recent weeks about potential threats to corporate growth, including rising interest rates, trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and some sluggish reports about housing construction and sales.

This week marks the peak of the quarterly earnings calendar as many big-name companies report their latest results, including Caterpillar, Amazon and Google's parent company, Alphabet.

"The earnings results have the potential to stabilize the market, but what investors are really keen on hearing from companies is what the sustainability of the earnings outlook is, especially in light of the concerns of the potential impact from tariffs," said Laura Kane, head of Investment Themes Americas at UBS Wealth Management Research.

FINANCIALS SLIDE: Banks and other financial companies took losses. Synchrony Financial fell 3.5 percent to $30.26.

BROKEN TOYS: Hasbro slumped 5.2 percent to $92.97 after the toy maker reported disappointing third-quarter results, partly due to lost sales following the demise of Toys R Us. Hasbro also said it will cut jobs as it deals with the effects of Toys R Us bankruptcy. Rival Mattel also declined, shedding 1.8 percent to $13.97.

ON THE HOT SEAT: Lennox International shares fell 1.6 percent to $190.10 after the maker of residential heating and cooling products reported quarterly revenue that fell short of analysts' forecasts. The company also lowered its fiscal year earnings estimate.

COSTLY DELAY: Bristol-Myers Squibb declined 5.5 percent to $51.29 after the drugmaker said regulators want three more months to review data from a potential lung cancer treatment regimen.

TECH BOUNCE: After a sluggish start, technology stocks rebounded in morning trading. Advanced Micro Devices climbed 7.1 percent to $25.35.

GOOD CHEMISTRY: Jacobs Engineering Group climbed 6.5 percent to $76.96. after the company agreed to sell its chemicals and resources business to WorleyParsons of Australia for $3.3 billion in cash and stock.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 0.1 percent to $69.02 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was flat at $79.72 per barrel in London.

The slide in oil prices weighed on energy stocks. Halliburton fell 2.2 percent to $36.73.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held at 3.19 percent.

CURRENCY: The dollar strengthened to 112.82 yen from 112.60 yen on Friday. The euro fell to $1.1469 from $1.1510.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX slipped 0.3 percent and France's CAC-40 lost 0.6 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent. In Asia, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong surged 2.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index reversed early losses, gaining 0.4 percent. The Kospi in South Korea added 0.3 percent. Australia's S&P-ASX 200 countered the trend, shedding 0.6 percent. Shares rose in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia, but fell in Thailand.

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