Mining, Materials Pull Stocks Lower

Mining, Materials Pull Stocks Lower

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are edging lower in early trading on Wall Street Wednesday, led by declines in mining and materials companies, giving back a modest increase from the day before. The declines were light but broad as the market continues a late-summer pattern of drifting between small gains and losses.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,526 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,185 and the Nasdaq composite was little changed at 5,260.

MINING TROUBLES: Metals and mining stocks took hefty losses following disappointing results from the European mining giant Glencore. The company reported a loss and continues to sell off billions in assets to pay down its massive debt load. Freeport-McMoRan slumped 37 cents, or 3 percent, to $11.61 and Newmont Mining was down $1.60, or 4 percent, at $41.52.

ON SALE: Young adult clothing retailer Express plunged $3.98, or 25 percent, to $12.06 after the company slashed its full-year forecast and said same-store sales and traffic were down year over year.

TAXED: Intuit, which makes TurboTax and QuickBooks software, fell $4.44, or 4 percent, to $109.40 after the company's full-year forecasts came in below analysts' estimates.

QUIET: Stocks remain in slow, narrow trading as they have all week and the last two weeks. Many traders are on vacation and with the lack of economic data and company news being released, investors are hesitant to move any large positions one way or another.

FED WATCH: Investors are awaiting a speech Friday by Fed Chair Janet Yellen at an annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Fed is expected to hold off on raising interest rates at its September meeting, but Yellen's comments will be dissected for clues on the likelihood and timing of a future hike.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil fell 48 cents to $47.61 a barrel while Brent crude, which is used to price oil internationally, fell 28 cents to $49.70 a barrel.

BONDS AND CURRENCIES: The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note was unchanged from the day before at 1.55 percent. The dollar rose to 100.41 yen from 100.22 yen, while the euro fell to $1.1262 from $1.1305.