Wall Street opens lower as fall in oil prices weigh

The Nasdaq Composite was down 14.71 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 6,224.30. ― Reuters pic
The Nasdaq Composite was down 14.71 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 6,224.30. ― Reuters pic

NEW YORK, June 20 ― US stocks opened lower today, slipping from record levels, as oil prices fell 2.5 per cent to seven-month lows and a recovery in technology stocks lost momentum.

Oil prices dropped after news of increases in supply by several key producers, a trend which has undermined attempts by Opec and other producers to support the market through reduced output.

Oil majors Chevron and Exxon were down about 1 per cent, with the S&P energy sector’s 1.3 per cent fall leading the decliners.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit record highs on Monday with tech stocks finding favor again as investors regained confidence in the economy after upbeat comments from Federal Reserve officials.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said it may be worthwhile for the US central bank to wait until year-end to decide whether to raise rates again.

New York Fed head William Dudley said inflation was a bit low but should rise alongside wages as the labor market continues to improve.

Today, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said that the era of low interest rates in the United States and elsewhere poses financial stability risks and that central bankers must factor such concerns into their decision-making.

At 9:30am ET (1337 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 15.95 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 21,513.04, the S&P 500 was down 6.43 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 2,447.03.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 14.71 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 6,224.30.

The S&P technology sector, which fell for two straight weeks on worries about the sector’s valuation, was little changed in early trading. Tech stocks have led the S&P 500’s rally this year.

Among stocks, Lennar rose 3.2 per cent to US$54.40 after the No. 2 US homebuilder reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.

Chipotle fell 4.3 per cent to US$439.13 after the burrito chain said its operating costs in the second quarter will be slightly higher than the first quarter.

Parexel International was up 3.8 per cent to US$87.11 after private equity firm Pamplona Capital is nearing a deal to acquire the pharmaceutical research services provider for more than US$4.5 billion.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,856 to 680. On the Nasdaq, 1,497 issues fell and 782 advanced. ― Bernama

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