US STOCK INDEXES EDGE DOWN; OIL PRICES SLIDE

US stock indexes edged lower in early trading Monday as investors pored over the latest crop of company earnings. Energy companies were down the most as crude oil prices headed lower. Utilities led the gainers. Traders also had their eye on the White House as President Trump reaffirmed plans to slash regulations on businesses.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 48 points, or 0.2%, to 19,779 as of 10:20 a.m. EST. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 6 points, or 0.3%, to 2,264. The Nasdaq composite index fell 11 points, or 0.2%, to 5,543.

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TRUMP ON BUSINESS: At a White House meeting with business leaders early Monday, Trump repeated a campaign promise to cut regulations by at least 75%. He also said there would be advantages to companies that make their products in the U.S., suggesting he will impose a “substantial border tax” on foreign goods entering the country.

UNHAPPY MEALS: McDonald’s was down 1.4% to $120.85 after the world’s biggest hamburger chain reported a fourth-quarter drop in sales at established U.S. locations. The decline snapped a streak of five quarters of increases.

BIG DECLINER: Qualcomm fell 12.2% to $55.20 in early trading, making the San Diego chipmaker the biggest decliner among companies in the S&P 500 index.

 

MARKETS ABROAD: Major global stock markets were mostly lower amid concerns that the Trump administration will pursue trade protectionism policies. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC-40 were down 0.4%. London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.5%. In Asia, a report showed that China’s economic growth ticked up in the final quarter of 2016, but the full-year expansion was the weakest in three decades. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was unchanged. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.3%.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 57 cents, or 1.1%, at $52.65 per barrel in New York. On Friday, the contract jumped $1.10. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 58 cents, or 1% at $54.91 per barrel in London. It soared $1.33 the previous session.

TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.43% from Friday’s 2.47%.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 113.34 yen, from 114.31 yen. The euro rose to $1.0743, from $1.0707.

– http://www.latimes.com/

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