Tech gains; industrial stocks slide

NEW YORK -- U.S. stocks were split Monday as technology companies continued to climb, but Boeing and other industrial companies gave back some of the ground they won Friday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3.55 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,783.02. The Dow Jones industrial average declined 157.13 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,178.61. Almost all of that loss came from three industrial stocks: Boeing, Caterpillar and United Technologies.

The Nasdaq composite finished at another record high after it added 27.51 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,588.32. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 3.91 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,601.06.

Most of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange ended the day higher.

Companies such as Apple and Alphabet, Google's parent company, and chipmakers including Micron Technology have led the market's recovery in recent weeks. Retailers including Amazon and Starbucks also made headway. The market was coming off its biggest gain in a month following the February jobs report, which showed strong hiring and moderate growth in wages.

Inflation has been the market's dominant concern over the last six weeks, and two more measuring sticks of inflation will be reported this week as the Labor Department discloses data on consumer prices today and producer prices Wednesday. Prices paid by consumers jumped in January as did producer prices, which measure the cost of goods before they reach the consumer.

The Federal Reserve is gradually raising interest rates to keep inflation in check, and it expects to increase rates at least three times this year. JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist for TD Ameritrade, said investors are looking at a lot of data but are really asking one question.

"If you think about the selloffs that we've had, they've all been about 'are we going to get a fourth rate hike or aren't we?'" he said.

Optical communications company Oclaro surged after it agreed to be bought by optical networking company Lumentum Holdings. The deal values Oclaro at $9.99 a share, or $1.69 billion, and its stock gained $2.16, or 27.5 percent, to $10.01. Lumentum also rose $3.03, or 4.4 percent, to $72.

Late Friday The Wall Street Journal reported that Intel might try to buy rival Broadcom. Broadcom is trying to buy a third chipmaker, Qualcomm, for $117 billion, and the Journal said that if that deal appears to be moving forward, Intel will consider responses that could include an attempt to buy Broadcom. It could also attempt a smaller deal.

Broadcom jumped $9.06, or 3.6 percent, to $262.84 while Intel fell 67 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $51.52. Qualcomm gave up 22 cents to $62.81.

Industrial companies like aerospace and defense firms and machinery makers lost about half of what they gained during their rally Friday. Boeing shed $10.33, or 2.9 percent, to $344.19 and Lockheed Martin lost $7.39, or 2.2 percent, to $333.10. Construction equipment maker Caterpillar dipped $3.75, or 2.4 percent, to $154.50.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 68 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $61.36 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 54 cents to $64.95 a barrel in London.

Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.87 percent from 2.90 percent.

Business on 03/13/2018

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