By March 29, 2016 Read More →

Oil prices decline, US stocks edge mostly lower

Oil prices continue slump

Oil prices

On Tuesday morning, US crude oil prices dropped 3.5 per cent while Brent crude prices were down 2.4 per cent.  BP photo.

NEW YORK _ U.S. stocks are mostly lower in morning trading Tuesday as energy companies tumble along with oil prices. Mining and metals companies are also declining. Overseas markets were mixed.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 35 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 17,499 as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell three points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,034. The Nasdaq composite index edged up 17 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4,783.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.36, or 3.5 per cent, to $38.03 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost $1.38, or 2.4 per cent, to $39.47 a barrel in London. The price of wholesale gasoline fell 3 per cent and heating oil sank 2.4 per cent.

Drilling company Transocean lost 61 cents, or 6.6 per cent, to $8.70. Hess fell $1.66, or 3.3 per cent, to $49.18 and Chevron gave up $1.29, or 1.4 per cent, to $93.39.

MEDIVATION INQUIRY: Drugmaker Medivation fell after a group of legislators urged a federal agency to take steps that could cut the price of Medivation’s prostate cancer treatment Xtandi. Xtandi is Medivation’s only approved drug, and sales topped $1 billion last year. The stock shed $4.80, or 11.6 per cent, to $36.45.

HOMEBUILDERS RALLY: Homebuilder Lennar is rising after it reported strong quarterly results, selling more homes at higher prices. Its stock gained $1.57, or 3.4 per cent, to $48.27. Competitor PulteGroup added 45 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to $18.57 and D.R. Horton rose 79 cents, or 2.6 per cent, to $30.61.

CONN NOT: Retailer Conn’s skidded $3.15, or 20.1 per cent, to $12.50 after its quarterly profit came up short of estimates and its 2016 forecasts disappointed investors.

SUN DOWN: Solar power company SunEdison tumbled after the Wall Street Journal said the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into its financial statements. A company tied to SunEdison also said there is a substantial risk SunEdison will seek bankruptcy protection. The stock fell more than 40 per cent, to 74 cents from $1.26.

OVERSEAS: France’s CAC 40 added 0.3 per cent but Germany’s DAX was lost 0.3 per cent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares lost 0.5 per cent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.2 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.6 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1 per cent.

FED FOCUS: Investors are waiting for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to give a speech just after 12 p.m. Eastern. Yellen last addressed the public after the Federal Reserve’s meeting two weeks ago and investors will look for more information about the Fed’s interest rate intentions. The Fed left interest rates unchanged this month and it next meets at the end of April.

CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose and the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note slid to 1.86 per cent from 1.89 per cent. The euro was little changed at $1.1202 after finishing at $1.1200 on Monday. The dollar rose to 113.44 yen from 113.28 yen.

The Canadian Press

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