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story.lead_photo.caption In this May 30, 2019, file photo specialist Gregg Maloney, left, and trader James Riley works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Stocks closed modestly lower on Wednesday, handing the market its second-straight loss.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5.88 points, or 0.2%, to 2,879.84. The benchmark index rose 4.4% last week, its best weekly performance of 2019. But it's now about 2.2% below its record, set April 30.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 43.68 points, or 0.2%, to 26,004.83. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index dropped 29.85 points, or 0.4%, to 7,792.72. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 0.68 points, or less than 0.1%, to 1,519.79.

Major indexes in Europe fell broadly.

Banks and technology companies accounted for much of the slide as investors shifted money into U.S. bonds, precious metals and other holdings considered safer investments after more than a week of aggressively buying stocks.

Energy stocks took heavy losses after a 4% drop in the price of U.S. crude oil. That helped outweigh gains in health care, utilities and other sectors of the market.

Wednesday's decline followed a broad drop in stocks that ended a five-day winning streak for the market. The Federal Reserve set off last week's rally when it signaled that it is willing to cut interest rates to help stabilize the economy if the U.S.' trade war with China starts to crimp growth.

Investors are worried that the dispute will drag on much longer than previously expected, weighing on economic growth and corporate profits. That has traders looking ahead to next week's Fed meeting.

"There are concerns about whether or not the Fed next week at its meeting is going to in fact continue to move its stance toward lowering rates," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. "The increasing concern is that the global economy continues to slow and that the slowdown is affecting the United States as well."

The sell-off in U.S. markets reflects heightened investor uncertainty over trade and its effect on the economy.

President Donald Trump's decision to threaten tariffs on Mexico in a dispute over migration at the border made a jittery market even more uneasy. Those potential tariffs have been indefinitely postponed, but the move left its mark.

"This was a game changer; the idea that the administration would use tariffs to further policy that is not related to trade is concerning," said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco.

Investors will likely have to deal with more volatility ahead of an economic summit later this month. Trump has said he plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan. But Trump has also threatened to proceed with tariffs on $300 billion in goods from China that aren't already subject to import taxes.

Technology companies accounted for much of the market's slide Wednesday. The sector has been under the most pressure from swings in sentiment over the trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Cisco Systems fell 2.2%, and Micron Technology dropped 5.4%.

Bank stocks declined as bond prices rose, nudging yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.12% from 2.14% late Tuesday. Lower yields pull down interest rates on loans, reducing banks' profits. Bank of America dropped 1%, and Citigroup fell 1.6%.

Health care, utilities and industrial companies were among the gainers. Johnson & Johnson shares rose 1.4%, Exelon gained 2.5% and American Airlines Group added 1.7%.

Mattel climbed 5.3% after published reports said the toy-maker rejected another buyout offer from Bratz doll-maker MGE Entertainment.

Medidata Solutions slid 3.6% after the company announced a deal to be acquired at a discount price by French software company Dassault Systems. The deal values the provider of cloud-based services and software at $92.25 per share, less than its closing price of $94.75 on Tuesday.

In other trading, energy futures finished lower Wednesday. Benchmark U.S. crude slid 4% to settle at $51.14 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, dropped 3.7% to close at $59.97 a barrel.

Business on 06/13/2019

Print Headline: Stocks fall a bit as banks, tech companies struggle


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