U.S. stocks are moving lower Tuesday as industrial and energy companies and banks decline, but a gain for technology companies helped the market narrow an earlier loss. Investors are focused on trade tensions after the White House said it will delay its decision to impose tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico for 30 days. U.S. manufacturing grew at a slower pace in March and construction spending decreased.
First-quarter results from drugmaker Pfizer and athletic apparel maker Under Armour disappointed Wall Street. Several overseas markets were closed for public holidays.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,642 as of 2:20 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 173 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,989. Earlier it dropped 354 points as aerospace company Boeing, heavy machinery maker Caterpillar and industrial coatings company 3M took big losses. Technology companies fared better and the Nasdaq composite rose 21 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,087. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks was unchanged at 1,541.
TRADE: The administration’s delay in imposing tariffs sidesteps a potential trade battle with Europe for now, but European Union leaders want a permanent exemption and say the uncertainty caused by delays is bad for business. The announcement comes ahead of the trade talks between U.S. and China later this week.
Industrial companies struggled. Boeing fell 2 percent to $327 and engine maker Cummins tumbled 5.4 percent to $151.29 after its first-quarter report. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin sagged 5 percent to $304.79.
ECONOMY: U.S. manufacturing kept growing in April, but it did so at a slower pace, according to the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers. Many factories said shortages of workers and skills affected their productivity. Meanwhile the Commerce Department said construction spending fell in March as home building dropped sharply.
THE QUOTE: Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab, said investors haven’t had to deal with a lot of weak economic data in the last year.
“That’s something the market is kind of not used to,” he said. But he said he’s more concerned that even though companies are reporting great first-quarter results, the market isn’t reacting very much.
“It’s been the best earnings season we’ve had in 10 years,” he said. “People are starting to sit out. And part of the reason they’re sitting out is we’re having such high volatility.”
EARNINGS: Pfizer slumped as its first-quarter sales fell short of estimates. The maker of pain medicine Lyrica and the blockbuster Prevnar 13 vaccine against pneumococcal infections said sales of older medicines slipped and its stock lost 3.8 percent to $35.22. Merck fell 2.6 percent to $57.34 following its report. AbbVie gained 5.6 percent to $101.91 after it said it will buy back $7.5 billion of its own stock.
Elsewhere Tapestry, Coach’s parent company, lost 10.8 percent to $47.95 as its Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands had a weak first quarter, and underwear, T-shirt and sock maker Hanesbrands fell 5.1 percent to $17.53.
TECHNOLOGY: Electronic storage company Seagate Technology plunged 7.5 percent to $53.54 after its fiscal third-quarter report. The stock is still up 26.5 percent this year. Overall, technology companies rose. Apple climbed 1.6 percent to $167.86 as investors waited for its report, which will come after the close of trading. The most valuable U.S. company has lagged the market this year, partly because investors are worried about iPhone sales.
Elsewhere, chipmaker Intel added 2 percent to $52.67 and video game maker Electronic Arts rose 1 percent to $119.11.
COMMODITIES: Commodities prices fell as the dollar grew stronger. Oil prices gave up some of their recent gains. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 2 percent to $67.19 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, declined 2.3 percent to $72.99 a barrel in London. Energy companies fell. Exxon Mobil lost 1.6 percent to $76.53.
Gold fell 0.9 percent to $1,306.80 an ounce and silver lost 1.7 percent to $16.04 an ounce. Copper dipped 1.2 percent to $3.02 a pound.
BAD ROMANCE: After Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook is developing its own dating feature, shares of Match Group tumbled. The operator of dating apps including Match, OKCupid and Tinder plunged 17 percent to $39.12 and its biggest investor and former parent company, IAC/InteractiveCorp, lost 12.7 percent to $141.50.
BONDS: Bond prices edged lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.97 percent from 2.96 percent. The 10-year yield hit a four-year high last week.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.71 yen from 109.29 yen. The euro fell to $1.2000 from 1.2082.
OVERSEAS: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1 percent and the Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 0.2 percent. Markets in France and Germany, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and most cities in Southeast Asia were closed for public holidays.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay