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Stocks slip further from record as banks decline

An American flag hangs on the front of

An American flag hangs on the front of the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 17, 2017. Credit: AP / Peter Morgan

U.S. stocks finished lower Monday for the second time in the last three trading days. Banks gave back some of their recent gains after a jump in interest rates last week sent them sharply higher.

Mining and chemical companies declined after China cut its economic growth forecast, and airlines slumped after a Delta said its business isn’t improving as fast as it hoped. More than two-thirds of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange fell. That included consistent losses for banks, investment firms and insurance companies.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 7.81 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,375.31. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 51.37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,954.34. The Nasdaq composite lost 21.58 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,849.17. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 9.88 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,384.25.

All four indexes reached all-time highs last week, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have risen for six weeks in a row. That’s on top of a big surge in November and December. Those rapid gains the last few months have prompted some analysts to turn cautious.

“We think there’s a reasonable chance at the end of the year we’ll be a little bit lower than we are right now,” said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.


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