US STOCKS slipped yesterday, ending seven straight days of gains by the S&P 500 index as a drop in precious metal prices dragged mining shares lower.
Spot gold fell 2.6 per cent to $1,331 an ounce as tensions with Syria eased and on worries the Federal Reserve will begin to scale back its monetary stimulus when it meets on Tuesday and Wednesday. Spot silver fell five per cent to $21.99 an ounce.
Economic data showed first-time weekly claims for state unemployment benefits, the last major reading on the labor market before the Fed’s meeting, fell to the lowest level since 2006, but the picture was incomplete because two states did not process all their claims.
The materials sector fell one per cent, with gold miner Newmont Mining off 4.2 per cent at $28.23.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 25.96 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 15,300.64. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 5.71 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 1,683.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 9.04 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 3,715.97.
The S&P 500 had risen about 3.4 percent over the prior seven sessions, its longest winning streak in two months, as concerns about a Western military strike against Syria faded.
Lululemon Athletica slumped 5.4 per cent to $65.29 after the apparel retailer reported second-quarter results and trimmed its outlook. Shares of Disney gained 2.4 per cent to $65.49 after the media giant said it will increase its share buybacks.