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Perfect start for stocks in 2018 stalls

Trader John Santiago works on the floor of

Trader John Santiago works on the floor of the NYSE, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

The stock market’s fantastic start to 2018 stalled on Wednesday after real-estate companies and other dividend payers sank on concerns about rising interest rates.

The losses knocked indexes a bit off their record highs and provided the first minor hiccup for a market that had climbed six straight days to start the year. Stocks fell after the yield on the 10-year Treasury reached its highest level since March, but they ended up recovering most of their losses as the day progressed and rates pulled back.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 3.06 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,748.23. The loss snapped the index’s longest winning streak to start a year since 2010.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 16.67, or 0.1 percent, to 25,369.13, and the Nasdaq composite fell 10.01, or 0.1 percent, to 7,153.57.

“Last year was an investor’s dream and a nightmare” for short-term traders because of how calm and strong the market was, said Kirk Hartman, global chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Asset Management. “I think this is going to be a better year for traders because you’re going to get some volatility.” He expects interest rates to climb as the government’s need to borrow rises and as the Federal Reserve increases rates.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury went as high as 2.59 percent in the morning before falling back to 2.55 percent, the same level it was at late Tuesday. That’s up from 2.40 percent at the start of the year.

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