NEW YORK -- Major U.S. indexes stood stock-still for the third consecutive day Thursday as gains for retailers were canceled out by losses for banks and other companies.
Energy companies again headed lower after a sharp drop in oil prices the day before. Amazon and media company Viacom led consumer-focused companies higher. The Nasdaq composite inched higher and notched its eighth gain in a row.
Banks fell along with interest rates after the Labor Department reported that wholesale prices were little changed in July. That's a sign inflation pressures weakened slightly, which could encourage the Federal Reserve to go slower in its process of raising interest rates.
The S&P 500 index fell in the final minutes of trading, closing down 4.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,853.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 74.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,509.23.
The Nasdaq composite added 3.46 points to 7,891.78. The Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, added 4.01 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,690.89.
Trading this week has been light and investors seem to have set aside their worries about trade tensions. The S&P 500 made a solid gain on Monday but has hardly budged since then. The VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect, has fallen to its lowest level since early January.
"It's not that risk has gone away," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist for TD Ameritrade. "Quantifiable risk is not there right now.
Bond prices jumped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.93 percent from 2.97 percent. That hurt banks, as lower interest rates make long-term loans like mortgages less profitable.
Several companies traded on deal news, but most of the news was about deals that fell apart. Rite Aid called off its sale to the grocery chain Albertsons following opposition from advisory firms and one of Rite Aid's biggest shareholders. Rite Aid fell 11.5 percent to $1.54.
Walgreens tried to buy Rite Aid last year, but settled for buying about half of its stores after regulators opposed a full sale. The company has been struggling with high debt and tough competition.
Tribune Media withdrew from its planned sale to Sinclair Broadcasting and said it will sue Sinclair for breach of contract. Both stocks plunged in mid-July when the Federal Communications Commission expressed major concerns about the deal.
Tribune rose 2.9 percent to $34.60 and Sinclair added 2.6 percent to $27.80.
Electric car maker Tesla tumbled 4.8 percent to $352.45. The stock surged 11 percent Tuesday, mostly because CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an inquiry into the wording and the method of Musk's announcement, while Bloomberg News reported that the SEC started an inquiry even before the tweet.
Business on 08/10/2018
Print Headline: Investors shed energy, bank stocks