Stocks pull back, halting a record-setting win streak


NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell Thursday after a mixed set of earnings reports put at least a temporary halt to the market’s record-setting run. Airlines had some of the sharpest drops on worries that their fares may be dropping.

The Dow Jones industrial average sank, breaking a nine-day winning streak, its longest in three years. It lost 77.80 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,517.23.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 7.85, or 0.4 percent, to 2,165.17. The Dow and S&P 500 have been setting a series of all-time highs this week. The Nasdaq composite sank 16.03, or 0.3 percent, to 5,073.90.

“It’s surprising how strong the market has been,” said Rich Weiss, senior portfolio manager at American Century Investments. Not only are companies in the midst of reporting another quarter of weaker earnings, U.S. economic growth is still only modest, and it’s even weaker elsewhere in the world.

“The only logical explanation is that it’s a horse race and that, relative to the other horses, the U.S. equity market is looking more attractive” than foreign stocks, bonds and other investments, Weiss said.

Stock markets overseas were mixed after the European Central Bank left interest rates at record lows but also said that it could add stimulus as it assesses the impact of the United Kingdom’s recent vote to leave the European Union.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.55 percent from 1.58 percent late Wednesday.

Southwest Airlines was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 and fell $4.71, or 11.2 percent, to $37.32. It reported weaker earnings growth than analysts expected and said a key revenue trend will turn down in the current quarter.

That helped drag down stocks across the airline industry. Delta Air Lines, United Continental Holdings and American Airlines Group all lost 2.7 percent or more.

Intel sank $1.42, or 4 percent, to $34.27 after reporting slower revenue growth for the latest quarter than analysts expected.

Electric-car maker Tesla lost $7.86, or 3.4 percent, to $220.50 after investors weren’t impressed with CEO Elon Musk’s “master plan” for the company, which was posted on Tesla’s website late Wednesday. Tesla is under scrutiny after one of its cars driving in Autopilot mode crashed in May, killing the driver.

Energy stocks fell with the price of oil. U.S. crude sank $1 to settle at $44.75 per barrel. Brent fell 97 cents to $46.20 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.36 a gallon, heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.37 a gallon and natural gas rose 3 cents to $2.69 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The best-performing stock in the S&P 500 was eBay, which jumped $2.94, or 10.9 percent, to $29.93 after reporting stronger-than-expected results for the latest quarter.

Utility stocks also largely held up, rising 0.6 percent. They and other dividend-paying stocks have been at the forefront of the stock market’s rise this year, as investors searched for steadier returns and anything that produces income given how low bond yields are.

Utilities are up 20.2 percent so far this year, versus a 5.9 percent gain for the S&P 500. Some analysts see that as a worrying sign and want to see improvement in areas of the market that are more closely tied to the health of the economy, such as financials or companies that sell non-essential goods and services to consumers, before becoming more optimistic.

Gold rose $11.70 ounce to $1,331 an ounce, silver rose 20 cents to $19.82 an ounce and copper rose less than a cent to $2.26 a pound.

France’s CAC 40 index fell 0.1 percent, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4 percent, and Germany’s DAX index rose 0.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.8 percent, and South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.2 percent.

The dollar fell to 105.86 Japanese yen from 106.87 late Wednesday, and the euro rose to $1.1013 from $1.1005.