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US stocks are mixed; Amazon shakes up health care, delivery

US stocks are mixed; Amazon shakes up health care, delivery
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mixed Thursday morning a day after they gave up an early gain and fell to their lowest level in a month. Amazon said it’s buying an online pharmacy and launching its own delivery van business, and drugstores and medication distributors as well as delivery companies are sinking. Banks and technology companies are higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,701 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 58 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,059. The Nasdaq composite gained 12 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,457. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,636.

U.S. stocks were higher early Wednesday after President Donald Trump dropped plans to impose strict limits on Chinese investment in U.S. technology companies. But the gains evaporated after Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, said in an interview with Fox Business that it should not necessarily be viewed as a softer stance. The S&P 500 lost 0.9 percent to close at its lowest level since May 29. The U.S. is set to impose a 25 percent tariff on billions of dollars of Chinese products starting July 6. In response, China will raise import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods.

AMAZON STRENGTH: Amazon shook up multiple industries Thursday after it said it’s buying online pharmacy PillPack, which offers pre-sorted dose packaging and home delivery. Investors expected Amazon to use its muscle to reduce costs and drug prices, and that led to sharp losses for drugstores, pharmacy benefits managers and companies that distribute medications.

Amazon rose 0.9 percent to $1,675.73 while Walgreens fell 10.5 percent to $59.31, and CVS, a drugstore operator and pharmacy benefits manager, skidded 9.3 percent to $63.51. Medication distributor Cardinal Health shed 7.2 percent to $49.06.

Amazon also announced a new program under which contractors around the country can launch businesses that deliver Amazon packages, meaning Amazon will have new ways to deliver products without relying on companies like UPS and FedEx. UPS lost 2.2 percent to $106 and FedEx declined 1 percent to $227.38.

STRATEGY SHIFTS: Madison Square Garden Co. said it will consider spinning off its sports division, which owns the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s Rangers, into a separate publicly traded company. The stock jumped 11 percent to $295.52.

Mexican food chain Chipotle said it will restructure its business, closing some restaurants that are struggling and making changes to its menu. It expects up to $135 million in total costs. The shares lost 7.7 percent to $422.20.

ECONOMIC GROWTH: The Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew just 2 percent from January to March, slower than it previously estimated, as consumer spending and business inventories were weaker. But experts think the current quarter, which ends Saturday, is going to be much stronger thanks to an increase in spending by consumers.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 0.8 percent to $73.31 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 0.2 percent to $77.63 a barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices inched lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.84 percent from 2.83 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.32 yen from 110.20 yen. The euro rose to $1.1578 from $1.1557.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX was down 1.4 percent France’s CAC 40 shed 1 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index remained almost flat and South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.5 percent.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

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