Health Care Stocks Skid, Keeping Dow Short of 20,000 Mark


THE QUOTE: “It looks like we’re going to see another cold blast,” said Jim Ritterbusch, an analyst who advises oil traders. He said weather forecasts suggest temperatures will drop later next week, which means people will use more natural gas to heat their homes.

The price of natural gas has fluctuated sharply in the last few months.

“Whenever you get extreme volatility in the weather patterns, that translates to price volatility in futures,” Ritterbusch said.

LOST IN THE MAIL: Shipping company FedEx said its quarterly expenses climbed and its earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates. The company’s stock lost $6.04, or 3 percent, to $192.70.

LOGGING OFF: Social networking site Twitter slumped after Chief Technology Officer Adam Messinger said he’s leaving the company. The struggling company has seen a number of executives leave recently. Former Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain left in November. In October Twitter said it would eliminate 9 percent of its workforce. Twitter fell 80 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $17.12.

MONSTER GAINS: Companies that make drinks, snacks, and other everyday household items traded higher. Monster Beverage rose $2.05, or 4.7 percent, to $45.59 and Oreo maker Mondelez added 50 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $44.82. The stocks dipped Tuesday, partly because of weak earnings for General Mills. On Wednesday that stock recovered most of its losses and rose $1.16, or 1.9 percent, to $62.61.

GOLDMAN SACKED: Goldman Sachs took the biggest loss of any of the 30 Dow components as it fell $1.95, or almost 1 percent, to $241.14. Goldman is trading near an all-time high, and its 32 percent gain since the presidential election is far better than any other Dow stock.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 81 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $52.49 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 89 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $54.46 a barrel in London.

OTHER ENERGY TRADING: Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.61 a gallon. Heating oil lost 3 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $1.64 a gallon.

LET’S GO OUT TO THE MOVIES: AMC Entertainment took a step toward completing its purchase of competitor Carmike Cinemas. The Department of Justice said it will sign off on the sale if AMC sells 15 movie theaters in areas where it competes with Carmike. It will also sell most of its holdings in cinema advertising company National CineMedia and transfer 24 theaters to a rival theater ad company.

AMC agreed to buy Carmike in July for about $825 million in cash and stock in a deal that would make AMC the biggest movie theater chain in the U.S. Its stock rose $1.25, or 3.7 percent, to $34.70.

SCOPING OUT A DEAL: Mobile gyroscope maker InvenSense said it will be acquired by Japan’s TDK Corp. for $13 a share, or $1.22 billion. That sent the stock to its highest price in almost a year and a half. InvenSense gained $1.90, or 17.6 percent, to $12.75.

THE SHOE FITS: Athletic apparel maker Nike gained 31 cents to $52.10 after its second-quarter profit and sales came in stronger than analysts expected. Nike is by far the worst performer on the Dow this year, as its stock has tumbled 17 percent in part thanks to competition with Under Armour. Investors fear the rivalry is affecting both companies.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 117.53 yen from 118.04 yen. The euro rose to $1.0428 from $1.0377.

BONDS: Bond prices inched higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slid to 2.54 percent from 2.56 percent.

METALS: Gold fell 40 cents to $1,133.20 an ounce. Silver sank 14 cents to $15.98 an ounce. Copper remained at $2.50 a pound.

OVERSEAS: The CAC-40 in France gave up 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX finished little changed. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.3 percent. The South Korean Kospi retreated 0.2 percent.

___

AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay

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