Stocks Lower Thursday Morning

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are dipping Thursday morning after a four-day rally brought major indexes to record highs. Banks are slipping with interest rates and consumer-focused companies, which have made large gains recently, also lagged the market. Technology companies took small losses.

A spokesman for the Chinese government said the U.S. should negotiate with China as an equal to resolve their dispute over technology policy. The two sides recently placed tariffs on $50 billion in each other's goods and have threatened to take more drastic steps.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,908 as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 77 points, or 0.3 percent, to 26,046. The Nasdaq composite fell 14 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8,095. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,731.

SHOP OR JUST DROP: Discount retailer Dollar Tree plunged 11.3 percent to $83.79 after its quarterly profit and sales fell short of Wall Street projections. Investors were also concerned about the company's forecast for the rest of the year.

Competitor Dollar General slipped 1.1 percent to $105.94 after it said its profit margins dipped. Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch sank 12.5 percent to $23.81 after its sales disappointed analysts while PVH, which owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, lost 6.1 percent to $147.11. Arts and crafts retailer Michaels fell 9.1 percent to $18.16

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH: While many other retailers struggled, Signet Jewelers jumped 25.7 percent to $68.68 after its sales flew past expectations and it raised its forecasts for the year. Also rising was clothing and accessories retailer Tilly's, which rose 11.1 percent to $20 after its report.

HITTING PAUSE: Video game maker Electronic Arts dropped 7.5 percent to $118.89 after it said the release of a major game, "Battlefield V," will be delayed by four weeks. It also said the strong dollar is hurting its sales.

MEDICAL MERGER: K2M Group jumped 25.5 percent to $27.39 after larger medical device maker Stryker agreed to buy it for $27.50 a share, or $1.2 billion. Stryker slipped 0.9 percent to $169.76. Health care stocks traded slightly higher.

SEND IT BACK?: Campbell Soup says it will sell its international business to pay down debt and will focus on its snack and soup business in North America. Investors appeared unenthusiastic about the proposal, and the stock lost 0.4 percent to $39.85.

ENERGY: Oil prices rose. Benchmark U.S. crude gained 0.5 percent to $69.86 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.4 percent to $77.76 a barrel in London.

BONDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.87 percent from 2.88 percent. That hurt banks, as lower yields mean long-term loans are less profitable.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.34 yen from 111.69. The euro fell to $1.1665 from $1.1699.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX was down 0.5 percent and the CAC 40 in France shed 0.4 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 0.7 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.1 percent while the Kospi in South Korea dropped 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 0.9 percent lower.

(BE)