US stocks open lower, led by drops in health care, banks
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The Associated Press
Stocks are opening slightly lower on Wall Street Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 had its biggest drop in four weeks and broke a five- day winning streak. The index was down 0.2% in the first few minutes of trading. Health care companies and banks were taking some of the bigger loss- es in the early going. Home improvement company Lowe’s jumped 8% after its sales came in ahead of what anlaysts were expecting. European markets were mostly lower and Asian markets closed mostly higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.27% from 1.25% late Tuesday.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
BEIJING (AP) — European stock markets opened lower Wednesday while Asia advanced as investors awaited an update from the Federal Reserve on possible plans to reduce U.S. stimulus.
Wall Street futures also declined a day after the bench- mark S&P 500 index eased off a record high following weaker- than-expected U.S. retail sales. Investors waited for minutes from July’s meeting of the Fed policy committee for an update on when the U.S. central bank might reduce bond purchases that pump money into the financial system and look at raising interest rates.
Some Fed officials, citing strong hiring growth and rising inflation, say policy normalization should start soon. Others argue the Fed needs to see stronger economic data to be sure a recovery is established.
“Overall, there seems to be an absence of positive catalysts to boost sentiments,” Yeap Jun Rong of IG said in a report. “Market sentiments may thus largely remain on hold, with the upcoming Fed minutes on watch next.”
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.3% to 7,160.40. Germany’s DAX lost 0.3% to 15,877.98 and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.4% to 6,791.63.
On Wall Street, the future for the S&P 500 was off less than 0.1% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2%.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 fell 0.7% while the Dow was down 0.8%. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.9%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1% to 3,487.44 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.6% to 27,671.57. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was 0.5% higher at 26,025.14.
The Kospi in South Korea advanced 0.5% to 3,175.88 and Sydney’s S&P-500 fell 0.1% to 7,532.90.
India’s Sensex lost 0.3% to 56,118.57. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets advanced.
On Wall Street, technology and consumer-oriented stocks declined Tuesday as concern about the virus’s impact on the economy grew. Health care stocks advanced.
Selling kicked off after the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales fell at a sea- sonally adjusted rate of 1.1% in July, more than expected. That followed a poor customer sentiment survey Friday.