FILE - This July 15, 2013, file photo, shows the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets turned lower and the dollar was volatile Thursday, April 13, 2017, after President Donald Trump withdrew a threat to declare China a currency manipulator and said the U.S. currency was "getting too strong." Tensions over North Korea also weighed on investors ahead of a long weekend in many markets. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

US stock indexes veer lower as oil prices fall

April 13, 2017 - 3:40 pm

Energy companies pulled U.S. stocks broadly lower in late-afternoon trading Thursday, setting the market on track for its third loss in a row. Financial stocks were among the big decliners as investors sized up earnings from several big banks. Trading was light ahead of the long Easter holiday weekend.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,333 as of 3:33 p.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 99 points, or 0.5 percent, to 20,492. The Nasdaq composite index lost 18 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,817. More stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. markets will be closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday.

THE QUOTE: "I'd anticipate it's going to be a fairly light run coming into the end of the week here," said Paul Springmeyer, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

BANK ON IT: Several banks reported better-than-expected results thanks to improved revenue from trading and rising interest rates. The stocks got a boost early on, but some lost their gains by midday. Citigroup slipped 27 cents to $58.25, while JPMorgan Chase shed 54 cents to $84.87. PNC Financial Services added 53 cents to $116.53.

BUFFETT EFFECT: Wells Fargo slid 2.9 percent after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway sold some of its stock in the lender to avoid being designated a bank holding company. Wells also reported flat quarterly earnings, reflecting continuing struggles to recover from its sales practice scandal. The stock gave up $1.52 to $51.61.

ROUGH QUARTER: Pier 1 Imports slumped 9.9 percent after the home decor retailer reported disappointing sales. The stock slid 72 cents to $6.53.

HEADLINE ANGST: U.S. Steel fell 5.4 percent as investors weighed the impact of a wastewater spill at one of the company's steel plants in northern Indiana. Federal officials were waiting for the results of tests aimed at determining whether a potentially carcinogenic chemical entered Lake Michigan during the wastewater spill on Tuesday. The company's shares were off $1.68 to $29.58.

ECONOMIC DATA: The Labor Department said that its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, fell 0.1 percent in March. That's the first drop since August and reflects falling energy prices. Producer prices were up 2.3 percent in March from a year earlier, the sharpest annual increase in five years. The Labor Department also reported that the number of applications for unemployment benefits declined last week.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX slid 0.4 percent, while France's CAC-40 shed 0.6 percent. London's FTSE-100 lost 0.3 percent. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.7 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.2 percent after a report showed China's export growth accelerated in March, while import growth cooled. Seoul's Kospi added 0.9 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar continued to weaken a day after President Donald Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the dollar was "getting too strong" and that he won't declare China a currency manipulator. The remarks helped push the yen to its highest level since mid-November, just after the presidential election. The dollar slid to 109.15 yen from 109.71 yen late Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.0616 from $1.0598.

ENERGY: Oil prices inched higher as traders shrugged off a report by the International Energy Agency said that demand growth for oil will slow for a second consecutive year this year. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 7 cents to close at $53.18 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 3 cents to close at $55.89 per barrel in London.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline dipped 1 cent to $1.73 a gallon. Heating oil held steady at $1.65 a gallon. Natural gas rose 4 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.23 per 1,000 cubic feet.

METALS: Gold climbed $10.40 to $1,288.50 an ounce, its highest level since early November. Silver gained 21 cents to $18.51 an ounce. Copper added 3 cents to $2.57 a pound.

TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices edged higher. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year note fell to 2.23 percent from 2.24 percent late Wednesday.

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Follow Alex Veiga on Twitter at twitter.com/_AlexVeiga

His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/alex-veiga

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