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Energy companies lead stocks lower as oil slides

Traders Sal Suarino, left, and John Santiago work

Traders Sal Suarino, left, and John Santiago work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Energy companies led U.S. stocks slightly lower Monday as the price of crude oil declined, snapping a three-day winning streak for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

Phone company and real estate stocks were also among the big decliners. Technology and industrial companies eked out tiny gains.

Investors are continuing to focus on company earnings reports this week.

With just over half of all the companies in the S&P 500 having reported quarterly results, most have posted annual earnings growth. But that hasn’t been enough to significantly move the stock market, which remains at near-record levels.

“A lot of this earnings growth we’re seeing now is already priced in,” said David Schiegoleit, managing director at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank. “It would have to extend further in order to push markets higher.”

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 19.04 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,052.42. The S&P 500 index slid 4.86 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,292.56.

The Nasdaq composite index gave up 3.21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,663.55. On Friday the Nasdaq closed at a record high and the S&P 500 came within a point of its own all-time high.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 82 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close at $53.01 a barrel in New York.

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