Energy drags on Wall St. as oil falls further; airlines slide | Reuters
By Rodrigo Campos U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as oil prices dropped to their lowest since November and airlines pulled industrial stocks down as a blizzard hit the U.S.
By Rodrigo Campos
U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as oil prices dropped to their lowest since November and airlines pulled industrial stocks down as a blizzard hit the U.S. Northeast.Hospital operator shares were hit after a nonpartisan research report showed 14 million Americans would lose medical insurance by next year under a Republican proposal.Trading volume was light ahead of a Federal Reserve statement due on Wednesday in which the U.S. central bank is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points.Airline stocks dropped as a blizzard swept through the heavily populated northeastern United States, grounding thousands of flights. United Continental (UAL.N) fell 4.7 percent to $66.55 while Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) dropped 3.0 percent and American Airlines (AAL.O) lost 2.7 percent.Oil prices slid to the lowest since late November after OPEC reported a rise in global crude inventories and raised its forecast of production in 2017 from outside the group, suggesting complications in an effort to clear a glut and support prices.
The S&P energy sector .SPNY fell 1.1 percent to close at its lowest since Nov. 4. Chevron (CVX.N) was off 1.8 percent and was the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P 500.“None of the data you’re getting is good if you’re trying to increase (crude) prices; it doesn’t look like oil supply is diminishing,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.She said energy sector earnings have little upside potential so their stocks’ underperformance is to be expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 44.11 points, or 0.21 percent, to 20,837.37, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 8.02 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,365.45 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 18.97 points, or 0.32 percent, to 5,856.82.About 6.23 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.93 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
Shares of hospital operators fell after the U.S. Congressional Budget Office forecast that 14 million Americans would lose medical insurance by next year under a Republican plan to dismantle Obamacare. Among hospital stocks, HCA Holdings (HCA.N) slipped 1.5 percent, Tenet Healthcare (THC.N) fell 3.3 percent, Community Health Systems (CYH.N) shed 2.2 percent and LifePoint Health (LPNT.O) was down 1.5 percent. Valeant (VRX.N) plunged 10.1 percent to $10.89 after billionaire investor William Ackman said his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital, sold its entire stake in the company.Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.99-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.09-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 55 new highs and 60 new lows. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.