US stock indexes wobble mostly lower a day after a big gain

Major U.S. stock indexes are mostly lower Tuesday after a strong gain the day before. A steep loss for United Technologies is taking industrial and defense companies lower. Steelmakers and other materials companies are falling while technology and internet companies edge higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,670 at 11:44 a.m. Eastern time. The index jumped 1.6 percent Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 70 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,569. The Nasdaq composite slipped 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,076. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slid 6 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,499.

NO LONGER UNITED: United Technologies said it will split into three companies now that it has finished its $23 billion purchase of aviation electronics maker Rockwell Collins. The company’s aerospace and defense industry business will keep the United Technologies name, while its Otis elevator business and Carrier air conditioner and building systems unit will become separate companies.

The company also said it doesn’t expect to buy back any more of its stock during the split, which won’t be complete until 2020. The stock fell 5.6 percent to $120.80. Other defense companies also dipped. Raytheon fell 2.1 percent to $170.95 and Northrop Grumman gave up 2.8 percent to $258.56.

TAKEOFF: Spirit Airlines surged 16.4 percent to $59.32 after it forecast a big jump in revenue in the fourth quarter. Analysts were optimistic that other airlines might see similar gains. Delta climbed 2.8 percent to $58.27 and United Continental picked up 1.3 percent to $92.93.

BRISTOL BRUISED: Bristol-Myers Squibb fell after it reported disappointing results from a cancer drug study. The company said the combination of its drugs Yervoy and Opdivo did not impose survival for patients with small cell lung cancer. Bristol-Myers was studying the drug as a maintenance therapy for patients who had already finished a round of chemotherapy.

The stock shed 3.7 percent to $50.76.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?: Internet and communications companies moved higher. Verizon gained 1.6 percent to $60.10 and Netflix rose 1.5 percent to $265.22. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, added 0.8 percent to $1,064.

TARIFF TURMOIL FOR TECH: Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he expects to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports on Jan. 1. His administration recently imposed a 10 percent tax on those imports, and at the start of the year that’s scheduled to rise to 25 percent. Trump also threatened again to place tariffs on all remaining U.S. imports from China.

The administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods have driven up costs for many businesses, but consumers haven’t felt as much of a sting. Another round of tariffs on products like laptops and computers would change that. Trump is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Group of 20 summit in Argentina later this week.

Tech stocks wobbled early on, but later recovered. Apple slipped 0.5 percent to $173.78. Apple stock has fallen 25 percent since early October, a drop that wiped out almost $300 billion in value. That’s left Apple and Microsoft essentially tied for the title of the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, as Apple’s current market value is about $824 billion to $819 billion for Microsoft.

Microsoft hasn’t done any worse than the rest of the stock market in October and November, and for technology companies, that’s been a good result. Its shares rose 0.2 percent to $106.71 Tuesday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.2 percent to $51.76 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 0.4 percent to $60.75 a barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.06 percent from 3.07 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 113.76 yen from 113.64 yen. The euro felt to $1.1292 from $1.1328.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 percent and the British FTSE 100 slid 0.3 percent. In France, the CAC 40 lost 0.2 percent.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gave up 0.3 percent.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at

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