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Stocks end day with losses, hammered by tech sector

A pigeon underneath the Wall Street subway station

A pigeon underneath the Wall Street subway station sign near the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan on Monday, April 11, 2016. Credit: Bloomberg News / Michael Nagle

Stock indexes ended the day with loses Friday, but slightly recovered from an early deep dive, as technology companies absorb big losses for the second day in a row. Health care companies are falling after weak first-quarter reports from drug and health insurance companies. Markets in Europe also took hefty losses.

AT THE CLOSE ON WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average was down 57.1 points, about 0.3 percent, at 17,773.6. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 10.5 points, about 0.5 percent, to 2,065.3. The Nasdaq composite slid 29.9 points, about, 0.6 percent, to 4,775.4.

OIL PRICES: About the same time the benchmark U.S. price for crude oil was down 2 cents, about 0.04 percent, at $46.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, the price of Brent crude, an international standard, was up 23 cents at $48.14 a barrel.

ANALYST’S OPINION: Tech stocks are now the worst-performing group of stocks on the market this year. Dan Suzuki, senior U.S. equities strategist at Bank of America, said investors don’t like what they’re seeing in tech company results.

“A lot of investors have been disappointed by results from tech this earnings season,” he said. So they are turning to bond-like stocks such as phone and utility companies, as well as small- and mid-cap stocks, which struggled in 2015.

“Everything that was working through last year has been an underperformer this year, and vice versa,” he said.

CAREFUL CONSUMERS: Consumer spending edged 0.1 percent higher in March. Consumers spent more on clothing and less on long-lasting items like cars. Consumer spending has been weak this year, but employers keep hiring.

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