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U.S. stocks end lower; 3rd straight losing day for the Dow

Specialist Michael Pistillo, left, and trader Tommy Kalikas

Specialist Michael Pistillo, left, and trader Tommy Kalikas work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Losses for financial and health care stocks pulled U.S. indexes modestly lower Tuesday handing the Dow Jones industrial average its third straight loss. Bond prices rose, while the dollar’s value sank against the British pound and other rivals.

ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 6.8 points, about 0.3 percent, at 2,267.9. The Dow Jones industrial average was off nearly 59 points, about 0.3 percent, at 19,826.8. The Nasdaq composite gave up 35.4 points, about 0.6 percent, to close at 5,538.7.

OIL PRICES: As markets closed, benchmark U.S. crude was up 20 cents at $53.7358 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London on the Intercontinental Exchange Europe, Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 35 cents at $55.51 per barrel. Exxon Mobil Corp. was up $1.01 cents closing at $87.36.

BONDS RALLY: U.S. bond prices rose, recovering a portion of the sharp losses they’ve incurred since Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election.

When bond prices rise, their yields drop, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.327 percent from 2.38 percent late Friday. It earlier was close to its lowest level since late November. Yields on two-year and 30-year Treasurys also sank.

TRUMP EFFECT: Tiffany fell $2.02 cents, about 2.5 percent, to $79.90, when many other retailers rose. The jeweler said revenue during the holiday season was weaker than expected after sales at its flagship store in New York fell 14 percent. It blamed at least part of the drop on “postelection traffic disruptions.” Its Fifth Avenue store is steps away from the protesters and security barricades at Trump Tower.

EARNINGS SEASON RAMP-UP: More than 30 companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to give updates this week on how they fared during the fourth quarter, and the heart of earnings reporting season will follow in the ensuing weeks. Wall Street expects to see modest growth, but the numbers may not matter all that much.

Instead, analysts say the more useful information may be what CEOs say about how their companies are set to take advantage of big policy changes that may be on the way. Trump, who is set to take the oath of office for the presidency on Friday, has promised to revamp the country’s tax code and cut regulations.

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