With little news to drive trading, major market indexes drifted mostly lower in a listless day of trading on Tuesday. Bond prices fell, driving a benchmark interest rate to its high for the year, and crude oil jumped back above $ 60 a barrel.
John Canally, an investment strategist at LPL Financial, said he expected the market to coast until the Federal Reserve meets next week.
“Basically, we’re in a waiting period for the Fed,” he said. “Today is probably what you can expect for the rest of the week: a lack of direction.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index picked up 0.87 of a point, a sliver of a percent, to finish at 2,080.15.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 2.51 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 17,764.04, while the Nasdaq lost 7.76 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,013.87.
Airline stocks fell for a second day after disappointing monthly reports from American and Southwest suggested that airlines were losing the ability to raise prices.
American, the world’s biggest airline company, said it expected revenue for each seat flown one mile to shrink 6 to 8 percent compared with a year ago. That’s worse than the previous forecast of a decline of 4 to 6 percent. Southwest said the same figure tumbled 6 percent in May and will drop 4 to 5 percent for the April-through-June quarter.
In the past week, United and Delta also lowered their forecasts for the revenue figure, which is watched closely. The forecasts have added to investor concern that the airlines may be adding flights faster than the pace of travel demands.
Shares of Southwest Airlines fell $ 1.52, or 4.2 percent, to close at $ 34.59, while American Airlines Group gained 47 cents to $ 40.33. Shares of United Continental Holdings also rose, but shares of Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Alaska Air Group and Spirit Airlines all fell.
Investors also were digesting a report from the Labor Department showing that employers advertised more open jobs in April than at any time in at least 15 years. The increase is an indication that steady hiring will continue — something the Federal Reserve’s chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, has been monitoring closely as the central bank considers when to start raising its benchmark interest rate.
The major indexes have lost ground in recent weeks as investors speculate when the Fed will act. Many think an improving economy will push the Fed to raise rates later this year for the first time since the last recession. A solid jobs report last Friday suggested that the economy had started to recover from its winter slump.
Prices for United States government bonds fell, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to a new high for the year, 2.44 percent. Long-term interest rates have surged over recent months as the economy shows signs of strength.
In other trading, United Natural Foods, a supplier to Whole Food Markets and other stores, slumped 5 percent after it posted results late Monday that fell short of analysts’ targets. It also cut its full-year forecast for profits. The company’s stock dropped $ 2.92 to $ 60.74.
HSBC Holdings, Europe’s largest bank by market value, fell 1 percent in London after it said it was slashing jobs and shifting its focus toward Asia, where it has a large and growing business.
Major stock markets in Europe extended their slump. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.6 percent, and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 finished with a loss of 0.5 percent.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 sank 1.8 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite shed 0.4 percent, while Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1.1 percent.
Back in America, precious and industrial metals futures closed narrowly mixed. Gold rose $ 4 to settle at $ 1,177.60 an ounce, while silver was little changed at $ 15.96 an ounce. Copper edged up two cents to $ 2.71 a pound.
The price of oil surged as an Energy Department monthly report predicted a decline in United States output later this year and next. Benchmark crude jumped $ 2 to settle at $ 60.14 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many American refineries, rose $ 2.19 to $ 64.88 in London.
In other futures trading, wholesale gasoline rose 7 cents to $ 2.077 a gallon; heating oil rose 6.3 cents to $ 1.918 a gallon; and natural gas rose 14.1 cents to $ 2.846 per 1,000 cubic feet.
stock market – Bing News