US STOCKS stocks edged lower yesterday following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, as a decline in energy shares outweighed gains in the financial sector in the latter stages of trading.
The energy sector, down 1.6 per cent, was the worst performer of the 10 major S&P groups as oil prices retreated on concerns increased exports from Iran will add to a global supply glut. Brent settled down $1.46 at $57.05 while US crude settled down $1.63 at $51.41 a barrel.
“We were positive the whole day and we sort of lost our gains right at the tail end,” said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors in New York.
“If crude were to be going down, that would mean there is an assumption this deal may get through Congress or the President’s veto won’t get overturned by Congress such that this Iranian flood of crude comes onto the market.”
Financials, up 0.7 per cent, helped curb declines. The group was buoyed by a 3.2 per cent rise in Bank of America to $17.68 and a 3.8 per cent gain in US Bancorp to $45.53 after their quarterly results.
The S&P snapped a four-session winning streak, its longest run of gains since January.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 3.41 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 18,050.17, the S&P 500 lost 1.55 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 2,107.4 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.95 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 5,098.94.