US stock indexes head lower in afternoon trading; oil rising
Phone companies led U.S. stocks modestly lower in late-afternoon trading Friday as investors weighed the latest batch of company earnings and economic news. The government estimated that the U.S. economy expanded in the first quarter at the weakest pace in three years. Energy stocks were up the most as the price of crude oil headed higher.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,383 as of 3 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 45 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,935. The Nasdaq composite lost 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,044. Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index gave back 15 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,401. Three stocks fell for every two that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
LACKLUSTER GROWTH: The Labor Department said that the U.S. economy turned in its weakest performance in three years in the January-March quarter, reflecting a slowdown in consumer spending. Growth, as measured by gross domestic product, amounted to 0.7 percent in the first quarter. That was less than what economists were expecting and followed a gain of 2.1 percent in the final quarter of 2016.
THE QUOTE: "The market is worried that the second quarter perhaps will see continued weakness, and that's part of the tug-of-war we're seeing in the market," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. "Are we going to see the economy snapping out of this weak patch?"
NOT FOR SALE: Magazine publisher Time Inc. plunged 18 percent after the company said it has decided not to sell itself. The stock shed $3.30 to $15.
OUT OF SYNC: Synchrony Financial slumped 15.9 percent after the lender's latest earnings fell well short of Wall Street's estimates. The stock was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, sliding $5.25 to $27.80.
WEAK BREW: Starbucks fell 2.2 percent after the coffee chain's sales growth at established locations was weaker than expected. The company also posted fiscal second-quarter earnings that matched Wall Street's expectations. The stock shed $1.32 to $59.98.
FEELING LUCKY: Shares in Google's parent company Alphabet gained 4.1 percent after the internet giant reported better-than-expected quarterly results thanks partly to a big jump in advertising revenue. The stock added $36.55 to $927.99.
DELIVERED: Amazon.com rose 1.1 percent after the online retailer posted solid first-quarter results. The stock picked up $10.03 to $928.64.
CRUISIN': Shares in two major cruise line operators headed higher. Royal Caribbean Cruises gained $5.18, or 5.2 percent, to $105.68, while Carnival rose 52 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $61.50.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was flat, while France's CAC 40 slipped 0.1 percent. London's FTSE 100 index lost 0.5 percent. In Asia, indexes mostly fell. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.3 percent. Seoul's Kospi shed 0.2 percent.
CURRENCIES: The eurozone inflation data pushed the euro up sharply as it raised speculation that the central bank may not keep its stimulus program in place as long as expected. It was up to $1.0895 from $1.0882 on Thursday. The dollar strengthened to 111.44 yen from 111.23 yen.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 36 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $49.33 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, climbed 29 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $51.73 a barrel in London. Home heating oil fell less than a penny to $1.50 a gallon, wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.55 a gallon and natural gas rose 4 cents to $3.28 per 1,000 cubic feet.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices edged higher. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 2.29 percent from 2.30 percent late Thursday.
METALS: The price of gold rose $2.40 to settle at $1,268.30 an ounce, while silver slipped 7 cents to $17.19 per ounce. Copper gained 2 cents to $2.60 per pound.