The main US stock markets gave back gains made earlier in the session and headed lower for a second day on Thursday afternoon, as financials weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The run to record highs for all three benchmarks has taken a breather in holiday-lightened trade, while the blue-chip benchmark Dow moved further away from the key 20,000 level, of which it had come within about 25 points last week. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) fell 1.6% each.
Financials lost about 1.2% in the steepest decline among the sectors on the Standard & Poor’s 500. Of the 11 industry groups, five were lower and six were higher. Utility stocks were the biggest gainers, rising about 1.2%.
Energy was down 0.4% as crude futures edged lower. West Texas Intermediate, the main US type, shed 0.4% to $53.82 a barrel while Brent, the international standard, slipped 0.3% to $56.07. Pioneer Energy Services (PES) fell 6% and Chesapeake Energy (CHK) shed 1.9%.