The major U.S. stock indexes edged lower in early trading Monday, pulled down primarily by a slide in phone companies. Supermarket operators and companies that sell consumer staples also fell. Utilities declined along with the price of natural gas. Oil companies led the gainers as the price of crude rose.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 5 points to 20,816 as of 10:11 a.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 1 point to 2,366. The Nasdaq composite index lost 2 points to 5,842. The Dow notched 11 straight gains heading into Monday's trading.
GROCERY SLIDE: Consumer staples sector stocks were among the biggest decliners in the S&P 500 as several supermarket operators declined. Kroger fell 95 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $32.35, while Whole Foods Market dipped 44 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $31.22. Supervalu shed 5 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.87.
DISAPPOINTING OUTLOOK: Power company AES fell 3.6 percent after its full-year profit forecast disappointed investors. The stock slid 42 cents to $11.51.
MIXED DATA: The Commerce Department said U.S. businesses boosted their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in January by 1.8 percent, the largest amount in three months. But a key category that tracks business investment plans slipped 0.4 percent, the first drop since September.
TRUMP WATCH: Investors looked ahead to President Donald Trump's speech Tuesday to a joint session of Congress for details of how he plans to carry out promises to cut taxes and step up infrastructure spending. U.S. stocks have benefited from Trump's promise of pro-business changes, but investors are becoming uneasy over how large and rapid those changes will be. Analysts say less money is flowing into "Trump trades" that would benefit from the changes.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent, while France's CAC-40 was 0.1 percent lower. London's FTSE-100 was up 0.1 percent. Earlier, major indexes in Asia posted losses. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.9 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.2 percent. Seoul's Kospi shed 0.4 percent. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.3 percent.
OIL & GAS: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $54.41 a barrel in New York. The contract fell 46 cents on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 52 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $56.83 in London. It lost 51 cents the previous session. Natural gas futures were down 10 cents, or 3.6 percent, at $2.69 per 1,000 cubic feet.
TREASURY YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.34 percent from 2.32 percent late Friday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 112.33 yen from Friday's 111.98 yen. The euro rose to $1.0598 from $1.0565.
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