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Stocks edge lower in afternoon trading; oil slides

Traders Christopher Fuchs, left, and Sal Suarino work

Traders Christopher Fuchs, left, and Sal Suarino work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Energy companies led U.S. stock indexes slightly lower Monday as the price of crude oil fell.

Real estate, phone companies and other high-dividend stocks did better than the rest of the market as bond yields headed lower, making those sectors more appealing to investors seeking income.

Investors focused on the latest batch of company earnings and deal news. They also had their eye on Washington, where President Donald Trump reaffirmed plans to slash regulations on businesses and tax imported goods manufactured outside the United States by companies that move jobs out of America.

“There was that huge rally postelection and things really were running on optimism,” said Lisa Kopp, head of traditional investments at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “What you’re seeing now is people coming back to the idea that the policies aren’t exactly clear ... and (Trump’s) ability to actually push everything through exactly the way he wants is uncertain.”

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 27.40 points, or 0.1 percent, to 19,799.85. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 6.11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,265.20.

The Nasdaq composite index lost 2.39 points, or 0.04 percent, to 5,552.94. The Russell 2000, which tracks smaller companies, gave up 4.01 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,347.84.

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