Falling bank stocks nudge S&P 500 a bit further from record

Associated Press |

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes took a modest step back Thursday, though they remain close to their record highs. Bank stocks fell more than the rest of the market as bond yields eased.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,342, as of . It's on pace for its second straight decline after setting a record high Wednesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 65 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,557 after hitting an all-time high Thursday. It's on pace for its first drop in seven days. The Nasdaq composite fell 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,811. Roughly two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

DROPPING YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.41 percent from 2.45 percent late Thursday. The two-year yield dipped to 1.18 percent from 1.21 percent, and the 30-year Treasury yield sank to 3.01 percent from 3.05 percent.

BANK EFFECT: Industry sectors have fallen into a regular pattern in recent days depending on how Treasury yields move. When yields rise, it means bank can charge more for loans and reap bigger profits, and financial stocks have often risen as a result. On Friday, financial stocks in the S&P 500 felt the flip side and fell 0.8 percent. It was the biggest loss among the 11 sectors in the index.

BACK TO THE KITCHEN: Kraft Heinz surged after it confirmed that it made an offer to buy European consumer goods giant Unilever and had been rejected. Kraft jumped $6.77, or 7.8 percent, to $94.05. Unilever's U.S-listed shares jumped $4.16, or 10 percent, to $46.73.

AROUND THE WORLD: In Europe, the French CAC 40 index fell 1 percent, Germany's DAX index lost 0.4 percent, and the U.K. FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6 percent,

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.89 Japanese yen from 113.11 late Thursday. The euro fell to $1.0644 from $1.0677, and the British pound fell to $1.2421 from $1.2497.

COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 23 cents to $53.52 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 26 cents to $55.39 per barrel. Gold inched up by 10 cents to $1,241.70 per ounce, silver fell 7 cents to $18.00 per ounce and copper fell 3 cents to $2.69 per pound.

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