US Stock Indexes Drop in Early Trade

US Stock Indexes Drop in Early Trade

NEW YORK (AP) -- Losses for financial and health care stocks pulled U.S. indexes down in Tuesday morning trading and put the Dow Jones industrial average on track for its third straight loss.

Bond prices rose, while the dollar's value sank against the British pound and other rivals.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow fell 56 points, or 0.3 percent, to 19,830 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 8, or 0.4 percent, to 2,267, and the Nasdaq composite fell 35, or 0.6 percent, to 5,540.

DOLLAR DROP: The dollar sank against most of its rivals, including the euro, Japanese yen and Canadian dollar. Its sharpest drop came against the British pound, which rallied after British Prime Minister Theresa May gave a highly anticipated speech about her country's pending departure from the European Union.

One British pound buys $1.2356, up from $1.2190 late Friday. Still, even after its gains, the pound remains more than 15 percent weaker against the dollar than it was in June, when the U.K. voted to quit the European Union.

BREXIT: British leader May said in her speech that the U.K. will make a clean break from the European Union and depart its single market. She also acknowledged for the first time that Britain's Parliament will be able to vote on the final deal. Uncertainty about the pending divorce has shaken investors since June, when the U.K. voted to quit the European Union.

BONDS RALLY: U.S. bond prices jumped, recovering a portion of the sharp losses they've incurred since Donald Trump's surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election.

When bond prices rise, their yields drop, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.31 percent from 2.38 percent late Friday. It's close to its lowest level since late November. Yields on two-year and 30-year Treasurys also sank.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 82 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $53.19 per barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 76 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $56.62.

Natural gas dipped 3 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $3.37 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $18 to $1,214.20 per ounce, up 1.5 percent. Silver rose 33 cents to $17.10 per ounce, and copper fell 4 cents to $2.65 per pound.

GLOBAL MARKETS: In Asia, trading was mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.5 percent, while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.4 percent and Hong Kong's hang Seng index gained 0.5 percent.

In Europe, the French CAC 40 fell 0.3 percent, and the German DAX dipped 0.1 percent. In London, the FTSE 100 fell 1 percent.

(KA)