U.S. stocks fell a third day, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its longest slump since June, as energy producers sank with oil prices to overshadow new stimulus from the European Central Bank.
Energy shares sank 1.3 percent for the biggest drop among the 10 main S&P 500 groups, as crude fell 1.1 percent in New York. Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. each lost 0.8 percent to pace declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The S&P 500 dropped 0.2 percent to 1,997.66 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow lost 7.38 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 17,070.90. Both gauges earlier climbed to intraday records.
“The market is kind of tired,” Walter Todd, who oversees about $1 billion as chief investment officer for Greenwood, South Carolina-based Greenwood Capital Associates LLC, said. “We saw such a quick bounce off the 1,900 level in early August straight up to a new high. In the very near-term, you’ve got a variety of headwinds and exhaustion around the move higher.”
The S&P 500’s three-day loss totals 0.3 percent after the index ended last month at a record. The index gained 3.8 percent in August, the biggest increase since February, and topped 2,000 for the first time amid positive economic data and investor expectations that central banks will continue to underpin global economies.
The ECB cut interest rates and will start buying assets, boosting the flow of funding for the euro-area economy while stopping short of broad-based quantitative easing. The move boosted European stocks and sent two-year note yields below zero in eight countries.
The U.S. equity gauge slipped yesterday as Apple Inc. dropped after a competitor unveiled new products and amid conflicting reports about progress on a peace plan for Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he’s ready to declare a cease-fire if peace talks with pro-Russian rebels take place as scheduled tomorrow.
NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen spoke with Poroshenko at a press conference in Wales today after a meeting among NATO leaders.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, the gauge of S&P options prices known as the VIX, climbed 2.8 percent to 12.71 for a third day of gains. The gauge lost 29 percent in August, the biggest monthly drop in almost three years.
U.S. data today showed service providers expanded in August at the fastest pace in nine years, a sign of growing momentum in the broadest sector of the economy. Applications for unemployment benefits in the were little changed last week, while a separate report indicated firms added fewer jobs in August than estimated. The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report is due tomorrow.
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