Rally Fades as Banks Lead Stocks Lower

Rally Fades as Banks Lead Stocks Lower

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are opening slightly lower Wednesday morning as bank stocks return some of the huge gains they've made since the presidential election last week. The price of oil slipped after a big rise the day before. Target is rising after a strong report and home improvement retailer Lowe's is falling after a weak store traffic hurt its results.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average slid 59 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,863 as of 10 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,174. The Nasdaq composite fell 7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,268. The Dow has risen for seven days in a row through Tuesday and is up 5.8 percent over that time. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have also made large gains.

BANKS SLIDE: Banks took the biggest losses in early trading. JPMorgan Chase fell $1.58, or 2 percent, to $77.78 and Morgan Stanley lost $1, or 2.5 percent, to$39 while Zions Bancorp gave up $1.42, or 3.7 percent, to $37.34. The S&P 500's financial stock index has jumped 11 percent since the presidential election.

STAY ON TARGET: Retailer Target raised its profit forecast and its sales projections for the third quarter with the holiday season approaching. That came as the retailer gave a strong third-quarter report, as it put more emphasis on low prices after it stumbled in the second quarter. The stock gained $6.09, or 8.5 percent, to $77.53.

LOWE'S LOWER: Home improvement retailer Lowe's fell 54 cents to $68.51. The company said traffic in stores was low during the third quarter, and Lowe's reported a smaller third-quarter profit because of big charges connected to the end of its Hydrox joint venture, write-downs of canceled projects, and goodwill and impairment charges. Its rival Home Depot traded lower Tuesday after its quarterly report.

CURRENCIES: The dollar continued to rise and reached its highest mark in 13 years compared to a basket of other currencies. Compared to the yen, the dollar slipped to 109.24 yen from 109.32 yen Tuesday. The euro slid to $1.0702 from $1.0718.

OIL: Oil prices slipped. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 39 cents to $45.42 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, lost 37 cents to $46.58 a barrel in London. The price of U.S. crude oil soared 5.7 percent on Tuesday as investors hoped the oil-producing OPEC countries will agree to a production cut that would boost prices. Tuesday's move was the biggest gain for oil in seven months.

BONDS: Bond prices fell, sending yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.24 percent from 2.22 percent. Bond yields, which are used to set interest rates on many kinds of loans including mortgages, have risen to their highest levels since the beginning of the year because investors expect the infrastructure spending and tax-cut plans of President-elect Donald Trump could lead to higher inflation.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: Britain's FTSE 100 slid 0.7 percent. In Germany the DAX lost 0.9 percent while France's CAC 40 was off 1 percent. Asian markets finished mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.1 percent and the Kospi in Seoul, South Korea gained 0.6 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.2 percent lower

(KA)