US stocks finish lower in light trading ahead of holiday


Associated Press

U.S. stocks closed lower today after a swift sell-off in the final minutes of a shortened trading session ahead of the Independence Day holiday.

The losses snapped a three-day winning streak for the stock market, wiping out modest gains from earlier in the day.

Technology companies and banks led the market slide, outweighing gains in health care and energy stocks. Gainers slightly outnumbered fallers on the New York Stock Exchange, with small-company stocks faring better than the overall market. Trading volume was lighter than usual going into Wednesday's U.S. market holiday.

The S&P 500 index fell 13.49 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,713.22. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 132.36 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,174.82. The Nasdaq lost 65.01 points, or 0.9 percent, to 7,502.67. Smaller-company stocks bucked the broader market decline. The Russell 2000 index picked up 5.33 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,660.42.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.83 percent from 2.87 percent late Monday.

U.S. markets reopen Thursday, and investors will have no shortage of reasons to snap out of the holiday lull by the end of the week.

On Friday the U.S. will start imposing a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. And China is expected to strike back with tariffs on a similar amount of U.S. exports.

"The market might get worked up about a tit-for-tat retaliation, which we'll probably see," said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. "There's a relatively low probability of an all-out trade war."

The Trump administration has said it won't target an additional $16 billion worth of Chinese goods until it gathers further public comments. It's also identifying an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods for 10 percent tariffs, which could take effect if Beijing retaliates.

Uncertainty over U.S. trade policy has overhung the market since late February. The S&P 500 posted two consecutive weekly declines heading into this week.

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