Bank and Tech Take Stocks Lower

(AP) -- U.S. stocks declined in early trading Tuesday as investors returned from the Labor Day holiday weekend. Banks and technology companies were down more than the rest of the market. Energy companies led the gainers as the price of crude oil headed higher.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,470 as of 10:12 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 96 points, or 0.4 percent, to 21,890. The Nasdaq composite lost 13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,421. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added less than 1 point to 1,414. Stocks were coming off back-to-back weekly gains.

BANKING SLUMP: Financial sector companies were down the most. XL Group slid $1.84, or 4.5 percent, to $38.78, while Brighthouse Financial lost $2.23, or 3.9 percent, to $55.26. Goldman Sachs gave up $5.89, or 2.6 percent, to $219.99.

TECH SLIDE: Traders also sold off technology shares. Nvidia fell $2.59, or 1.5 percent, to $167.87, while Applied Materials shed 43 cents, or 1 percent, to $44.67.

ENERGIZED: Gains in crude prices helped lift shares in oil producers and other energy industry companies. Baker Hughes gained $1.10, or 3.2 percent, to $35.40. Halliburton rose 85 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $39.75.

GEOPOLITICAL JITTERS: Investors had their eye on developments the Korean Peninsula. South Korean warships conducted live-fire exercises at sea following U.S. warnings of a "massive military response" after North Korea's biggest nuclear test to date. The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting and American Ambassador Nikki Haley said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is "begging for war."

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.10 percent from 2.17 percent late Friday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.45, or 3 percent, to $48.74 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.02, or 2 percent, to $53.36 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 109.15 yen from Monday's 109.72 yen. The euro rose to $1.1909 from $1.1897.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.7 percent, while the CAC 40 in France was 0.1 percent higher. London's FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent after a survey of business activity showed a slowdown. Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.6 percent and Seoul's Kospi slid 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.1 percent.

(BE)