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Stocks are mixed ahead of company earnings reports

An entrance to the NYSE on Aug. 24,

An entrance to the NYSE on Aug. 24, 2015. Credit: AP

U.S. stocks are mixed Monday as health care and industrial companies fall while technology companies gain ground. General Electric fell after announcing more changes in its leadership. Companies that distribute or sell prescription drugs continue to slide. Major stock indexes continued to trade around all-time highs after a long winning streak for the market that ended on Friday.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,547 as of 12:15 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 1 point to 22,772. The Nasdaq composite rose 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,593 as technology companies did better than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 3 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,506.

Trading is expected to be light because of the Columbus Day holiday. U.S. bond trading is closed for the holiday. Stocks repeatedly set record highs last week as the S&P 500 rose for eight days in a row, its longest streak in four years. That ended on Friday, although the Nasdaq remained at an all-time high.

TITANS OF INDUSTRY: General Electric slipped after it named Ed Garden of Trian Fund Management to its board of directors. Trian, a well-known activist investment firm founded by Nelson Peltz, has been pushing the conglomerate to become a leaner company. GE has announced a number of changes in its leadership since John Flannery replaced Jeffrey Immelt as its CEO. On Friday it said Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Bornstein will leave at the end of the month and will be replaced by Jamie Miller, the CEO of GE’s transportation business. Two vice chairs will retire at the end of the year.

GE lost 77 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $23.62. It’s down 25 percent this year.

HEALTH WOES: Health care companies did worse than the rest of the market. Companies that distribute or sell prescription medicines tumbled for a second day as investors continued to worry about Amazon entering the prescription drug business. Analysts raised that possibility Friday. Amazon has declined to comment.

Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts lost $3.02, or 4.8 percent, to $59.34 and prescription drug distributor McKesson dropped $4.12, or 2.7 percent, to $147.17 while Walgreens gave up $2.75, or 3.8 percent, to $70.44. Walgreens stock hit annual low.

Medical device maker Medtronic gave up $1.81, or 2.3 percent, to $78. The company said late Friday that Hurricane Maria will reduce its quarterly profit and revenue by about $250 million. Medtronic has four facilities in Puerto Rico that were damaged by the storm and manufacturing won’t fully recover for weeks.

TECH LEADS AGAIN: Third-quarter earnings reports will start later this week when major banks start announcing their results. Investors expect continued strong results from technology companies. The industry has led the market higher for most of this year. Chipmaker Nvidia added $4.95, or 2.7 percent, to $186.25. DXC Technology gained $1.48, or 1.7 percent, to $88.92 and electronic storage company Seagate Technology rose 48 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $34.27.

PUMP THE BRAKES: Electric car maker Tesla declined after the Wall Street Journal reported on the company’s struggles in producing its new, lower-priced Model 3 Sedan. The Journal reported Friday that Tesla workers were making some Model 3 parts by hand as recently as September. Last week Tesla missed its third-quarter production goals and investors wonder when the company will be able to get up to speed. The stock fell $7.13, or 2 percent, to $349.75.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 11 cents to $49.40 a barrel in New York as Tropical Storm Nate moved away from the Gulf Coast, where much of U.S. crude is drilled and processed. Nate hit Southeastern Louisiana Saturday evening and Mississippi on Sunday, but was downgraded to a tropical depression by midday Sunday.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 6 cents to $55.56 a barrel in London.

Chevron rose 46 cents to $117.49 and Phillips 66 picked up 52 cents to $93.34.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 112.66 yen from 112.71 yen. The euro rose to $1.1746 from $1.1735.

OVERSEAS: The DAX in Germany rose 0.2 percent and the CAC 40 of France added 0.1 percent. The British FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.5 percent. Markets in Japan and South Korea were closed for holidays.

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