NEW YORK (AP) â” The stock market drifted lower in light trading Friday, putting major indexes on track for their second weekly loss this month. Reports of sluggish economic growth have weighed on the market this week.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 71 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,775 as of 1:57 p.m. EST. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,953, while the Nasdaq composite slipped one point, less than 0.1 percent, to 4,379.
LOOK BACK: After dropping three days this week, the S&P 500, the most widely used benchmark for stock funds, is on course for a weekly loss of 0.5 percent. Many investors have been waiting for the market to take a break from its long climb. The S&P 500 has gained 5.8 percent in three months and reached its latest all-time high on June 20, one week ago.
WHAT, NO WORRIES? “The fact is, it’s the summer, and there isn’t much happening,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.
Turmoil in the Middle East, however, could easily rattle U.S. markets, especially if the fighting in Iraq drives oil prices up too high, Ablin said. Rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia remain a concern.
“The risk in the summer typically isn’t financial, it’s political,” he said. “This summer it’s geopolitical: Iraq and Ukraine.”
FORECAST CUT: DuPont dropped $3.22, or 5 percent, to $64.48, the biggest decline among the 30 big companies in the Dow. The company cut its profit forecast because of weaker sales of corn seeds.
THE BUSINESS OF SPORT: Nike gained $1.05, or 1 percent, to $77.91 after reporting earnings late Thursday that beat Wall Street’s expectations. Stronger worldwide sales offset marketing costs for the World Cup soccer tournament. Nike provided the outfits for 10 national teams, including Team USA, for the World Cup in Brazil.
YOU AGAIN: Micheals Companies made a slight gain in its return to the stock market. Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group, two private equity firms, bought the operator of arts and crafts stores in 2006 and returned it to investors in a $472 million initial public offering. Much of the money raised in the IPO will be used to pay down debt. The company’s stock rose 19 cents, or 1 percent, to $17.19.
HOW CONFIDENT: The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan reading of consumer confidence edged up to 82.5 in June, a slight increase over the previous month and better than economists had predicted.
WORLD MARKETS: Asian indexes closed lower. In Europe, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.1 percent while Germany’s DAX edged up 0.1 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British companies rose 0.3 percent.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices rose, pushing Treasury yields lower. The yield on the 10-year note slipped to 2.52 percent from 2.53 percent on Thursday. The price of oil fell 10 cents to $105.73 a barrel.