Stocks retreat for second day as geopolitical worries sour bulls' appetite – MarketWatch

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U.S. stock-market indexes edged lower on Tuesday, as investors turned cautious in the wake of geopolitical headlines dominating this week.

Analysts said investors are in a risk-off mode as they wait for the outcome of the U.K. general election, a policy meeting of the European Central Bank and former Federal Bureau of Investigation boss James Comey’s testimony to a Senate panel on Thursday.

The S&P 500 SPX, -0.11% was off by 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,429, with nine of the 11 main sectors trading lower. Financials were leading the losses, driven lower by a continued slump in Treasury yields. The sector was down 0.8% in early trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.13%  declined by 47 points, or 0.3%, to 21,120, with 23 of the 30 components trading negative territory. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, -1.01% and Caterpillar Inc. CAT, -0.45%  were the top decliners, down about 1%.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.02%  was off by 13 points, or 0.2%, to 6,281.

“We expect sideways markets over the short-term due to seasonality — summer months tend to be quieter—and investors continue to react to headline news,” said Lisa Kopp, head of Traditional Investment Group at US Bank Wealth Management.

Kopp still expect the S&P 500 to finish the year higher, supported by fundamentals.

Geopolitical concerns are “helping to drive safe haven flows and curb risk appetite,” said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note.

Gold futures GCQ7, +1.10% the Japanese yen USDJPY, -0.88%  and Treasurys TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.75% deemed as safety plays were finding buyers, thanks in part to concerns about a spat between Qatar and other Middle Eastern nations.

Read: What you need to know about Saudi Arabia’s break with Qatar

Other markets: Oil futures CLN7, -0.32%  edged lower, and European markets SXXP, -0.75% also lost ground. Asian equities finished mixed, and a key dollar index DXY, -0.18% was slightly lower after earlier showing a bigger loss and touching levels last seen in November.

Economic news: An April figure for job openings is slated to arrive at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar

Individual movers: Shares in Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.01%  were trading slightly higher, putting the gadgets giant on track to recover somewhat from Monday’s 1% drop.

That fall came after Apple unveiled its HomePod smart speaker and other new offerings, and as Pacific Crest analysts downgraded the stock, saying all of the upside from the next iPhone is already priced in.

Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +0.30%  is dropping the price for its Prime membership for low-income shoppers. The move is seen as taking aim at Wal-Mart WMT, -1.01% which counts on shoppers who receive government assistance for a large percentage of its sales. Shares in Amazon edged lower in thin premarket trading. Wal-Mart shares were down more than 1%.

Media giant 21st Century Fox Inc. FOX, +0.26% FOXA, +0.16%  is getting into the mobile videogame business, paying tens of millions of dollars for game studio Aftershock, a Wall Street Journal report said.

Struggling Toshiba Corp. 6502, +2.82% TOSYY, +3.00%  has granted preferential negotiating rights for its semiconductor unit to U.S. chip maker Broadcom Ltd. AVGO, +0.03% said a report from The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper.

Michaels Cos. MIK, -7.77%  reported earnings below Wall Street’s expectations and downgraded its full-year outlook. Shares dropped 8%.

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