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US stocks dip as household goods, health care companies fall

US stocks dip as household goods, health care companies fall
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly lower Monday afternoon as household goods makers and health care companies slump. Energy companies are rising with oil prices while technology companies and smaller, more U.S.-focused companies are mixed. Indexes in Europe and Asia are lower, and Volkswagen is down after German authorities detained the CEO of its Audi division as part of an investigation into the manipulation of emissions controls.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 fell 9 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,770 as of 1:05 p.m. Eastern time. Earlier the index fell as much as 22 points. Last week the S&P 500 reached its highest level since early February. After some modest losses, the benchmark index is back to where it was in late February, when international trade tensions started to weigh on the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 137 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,953. The Nasdaq composite lost 15 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,731.

The Russell 2000 fared better, as many investors feel the smaller and more U.S.-focused companies in that index are less vulnerable in the event that a major trade dispute slows growth in the global economy. The Russell was unchanged at 1,684, near the record high it reached last week.

LOSERS: Among health care companies, Johnson & Johnson lost 1.2 percent to $121.13 and Boston Scientific fell 1.9 percent to $32.34. Drug developer PTC Therapeutics jumped 28.1 percent to $48.09 after it reported positive results from a study of a drug intended to treat Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects infants. However that sent shares of Biogen sharply lower, as PTC’s drug could affect sales of Biogen’s Spinraza. Biogen lost 5.2 percent to $289.31, while its partner Ionis Pharmaceuticals sank 6.9 percent to $43.36.

Consumer products company Procter & Gamble gave up 2.4 percent to $75.53 and Colgate-Palmolive declined 2.5 percent to $63.14.

AUDI CEO ARRESTED: German authorities detained the chief executive of Volkswagen’s Audi division, Rupert Stadler, as part of a probe into the manipulation of emissions controls. The move is an extension of the emissions scandal that has rocked Volkswagen since 2015 and led to billions in fines, the arrest of executives and the indictment in the U.S. of its former CEO. Volkswagen stock fell 3.1 percent in Germany.

DEALS: Chinese e-commerce company JD.com edged up 0.2 percent to $43.69 after Google said it will invest $550 million in the company. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, rose 1.4 percent to $1,175.19. JD rival Alibaba lost 0.5 percent to $206.91.

Rent-A-Center jumped 22 percent to $14.68 after private equity firm Vintage Capital Management agreed to buy it for $15 a share, or $800 million. Rent-A-Center leases household goods on a rent-to-own basis and had received a lower bid from Vintage earlier this month. Clothing company Perry Ellis lost 2.5 percent to $27.28 after founder George Feldenkreis started buying more stock to take the company private for $27.50 a share, or $437 million.

ENERGY: Oil futures rose as investors wait for an OPEC meeting later this week. Benchmark U.S. crude added 0.1 percent to $65.15 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, climbed 1.7 percent to $74.66 a barrel in London.

Chevron gained 1.8 percent to $126.22 and ConocoPhillips rose 2.8 percent to $67.16.

BONDS: Bond prices edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.93 percent from 2.92 percent.

U.S.-CHINA TARIFFS: On Friday, President Donald Trump said the U.S. will put tariffs of up to 25 percent on some Chinese imports starting in July. Those tariffs target industrial and agricultural machinery, aerospace parts and communications technology. China said it will raise import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. On Saturday the Trump administration launched an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on automobiles imported to the U.S. as talks with Canada and Mexico over the North American Trade Agreement stalled.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.46 yen from 110.62 yen late Friday. The euro inched down to $1.1605 from $1.1607.

OVERSEAS: The DAX in Germany fell 1.4 percent and the French CAC 40 lost 0.9 percent. Britian’s FTSE 100 fell less than 0.1 percent.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.8 percent while South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.2 percent. Markets in Hong Kong were closed for the Duanwu Festival commemorating the death of Qu Yuan, an ancient Chinese poet and minister.

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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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