“Technology rallied hard yesterday and last week, and there is profit-taking, but it’s just a short-term pressure,” said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O’Neil Securities in New York.
“There’s a lot of noise coming out of Washington over all these changes that’s causing the markets to really not focus.”
The markets opened higher after data showed U.S. consumer price growth slowed in February, an indication that an anticipated pickup in inflation probably will be only gradual.
“It certainly presents some more difficult questions for the central bank if they look to embark on a more aggressive interest rate hiking cycle next week,” said Aaron Kohli, interest rate strategist, BMO Capital Markets in New York.
“How do they expect to get inflation materially higher if they are already starting to see some signs of spotty weakness?”
At 12:45 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 25.78 points, or 0.1 percent, at 25,152.83, the S&P 500 was down 6.01 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,777.01 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 44.76 points, or 0.59 percent, at 7,543.57.
U.S. Treasury yields fell in response to the data and Tillerson’s exit. [US/]
Among stocks, General Electric fell about 4 percent after JPMorgan cut its price target on the stock to $11 from $14, saying the industrial conglomerate was not a “safety stock” in a volatile market.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,462 to 1,349. On the Nasdaq, 1,634 issues fell and 1,176 advanced.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)